Baton Rouge police and fire briefs for Feb. 7, 2014

Nearby shooting puts school in lockdown

Redemptorist High School at 4000 St. Gerard Ave. went into a brief lockdown Thursday morning as a precautionary measure after a man was shot several blocks away in the 5000 block of Longfellow Drive at Hollywood Street at around 9:30 a.m., according to Baton Rouge Police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

By 10:45 a.m. the school had received the all-clear, said Alice Faucheux, with the Catholic Schools of Baton Rouge.

Witnesses reported to police that the victim, a 28-year-old man, drove up to house in the 5000 block of Amarillo Street Thursday morning. Another man then exited the house and chased the 28-year-old man to Longfellow Drive, where the shooting occurred, McKneely said.

The shooter fled the scene on foot and police did not capture him as of Thursday night. No details were available about the shooter and it’s unclear what led up to the shooting, McKneely said.

The victim was taken to a hospital and he’s expected to survive.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact police at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Small fire causes big problems

A small fire caused much disruption Wednesday for residents of the Catholic-Presbyterian Apartments, 655 North St., in Baton Rouge.

The fire, originating in a kitchen, was out before firefighters arrived, but water from the sprinkler system flooded the one fifth-floor apartment and the floors below it, Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte said. “Before they could get it shut off, the water seeped from the fifth floor down to the first floor.”

The complex was able to provide alternative housing for most of the residents and the American Red Cross Louisiana Capital Area Chapter stepped in and provided lodging for 11 others at area hotels.

“Volunteers remain available to the families for support, counseling and referrals to other local agencies,” Red Cross Public Affairs Manager Melissa Eugene-Duplantier said.

Zachary man accused in Jan. 30 rape

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested a 31-year-old man accused of raping a 22-year-old woman in Zachary about a week ago.

Deputies booked Roman James Vandiver, 31, 224 E. Plains-Port Hudson Road, Zachary, into Parish Prison on counts of simple rape, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

On Jan. 30, after the woman slipped into bed, Vandiver, whom she knew, is accused of walking into her home and standing over her, at which point the woman feared he would harm her, “so she complied with (Vandiver’s) actions,” a detective wrote in the affidavit.

Once Vandiver left, the woman went to the hospital.

Upon arrest, Vandiver did not speak with detectives, instead invoking his right to an attorney, the affidavit says.

Investigators suspect fire set to cover crime

A Thursday morning Sycamore Street house fire was intentionally set to cover up a crime scene, Baton Rouge fire investigators said.

Firefighters responded to the blaze in the 5100 block of Sycamore Street, just off North Foster Drive, about 9 a.m. and within five minutes had the fire under control, said Curt Monte, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters contained the blaze to a bedroom in the home, and no one was home during the fire, Monte said.

Investigators reported that the person or people responsible for starting the fire forced their way into the home, possibly in the act of a burglary, said Cpl, L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

The home’s three residents received assistance from The American Red Cross because the heat and smoke from the fire damaged much of the house, Monte said.

Authorities arrested at least three people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish — including a man on a fourth-offense DWI — and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Ernest Davis, 51, 7182 Aspen Place, Baton Rouge, fourth-offense DWI and reckless operation of a vehicle.
  • Pablo Albores, 33, 1717 Duvota Drive, Marrero, second-offense DWI and headlight required.
  • Otis Smith, 57, 12020 Florida Blvd., first-offense DWI, driver’s license required and failure to signal while turning.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.