Man found shot to death in shed

A Baton Rouge man who had been working odd jobs around a West McKinley Street home in exchange for free housing was found shot to death Friday morning inside the shed where he’d been living for several months.

Police on Friday did not have many leads on what may have led to the shooting death of Michael Rogers, 52, although evidence points to the fact that he had been dead several days when he was found about 9:45 a.m., said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

Dr. Beau Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, said he plans to perform Rogers’ autopsy on Monday.

For the past three months, Rogers lived inside a partially furnished cinder-block shed in Nailah Barra’s backyard in the 400 block of West McKinley Street.

“He helped me around the house,” Barra said Friday. “He would’ve done anything for anybody.”

She allowed Rogers to live inside the shed her grandfather built decades ago, and in exchange, he’d perform outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn and taking out the garbage, Barra said.

Barra said she wasn’t home earlier in the week when another neighbor said he heard several gunshots and the sound of a car peeling out.

On Friday, Barra began asking around if anyone had seen “Mike.” No one had. So she sent a relative out to the shed, where Rogers’ body was soon discovered.

“He didn’t deserve that,” Barra said, her eyes tearing up.

On Friday afternoon, the shed appeared messy. A recently busted pipe under Barra’s home had muddied the area leading the way to the shed. Inside, heavy blankets sat atop a couch, and several mostly-eaten food trays littered what appeared to serve as a couch-side table.

No one lived in the shed prior to Rogers — “the first and the last” — Barra said, adding that she’d feed him every time she cooked.

Police said Rogers had a last known address at the Baton Rouge Detoxification Center on Florida Boulevard.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.