A business owner in downtown Baton Rouge is deciding to leave the area following a violent gun battle that occurred over the weekend. The incident took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 10th, outside a bar on the 200 block of Lafayette Street. No one was injured, but many vehicles and windows were hit by bullets. James Curtis, who has operated businesses in the area for the past five years, plans to move his business elsewhere due to safety concerns.
According to officials from the Downtown Development District (DDD), this incident was unusual and occurred after bars had closed and people were supposed to be heading home. The DDD emphasizes that downtown is a safe place when people are there for work, shows, or restaurants. Whitney Hoffman Sayle, Executive Director of the DDD, expressed remorse over the shooting and acknowledged the concerns raised by business owners.
Mayor and President Sharon Weston Broome also commented on the shooting, stating that steps are being taken to address the issue. The mayor assures that there is a zero-tolerance policy for illegal or dangerous activities within the community. The Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) responded quickly to the incident and is currently working with witnesses and business owners to hold those responsible accountable. Measures to enhance security in downtown Baton Rouge include reassigning police officers, building a 24-hour police station, implementing additional security cameras, and assigning officers to work overtime details.
While there have been few incidents of violence in downtown Baton Rouge this year, the authorities acknowledge that even one incident is too many. They are committed to preventing such incidents from happening and creating a safe environment that supports business and community success.
Overall, this incident has prompted a business owner to leave downtown Baton Rouge due to safety concerns, but the city and police department are taking action to address the issue and ensure the safety of the area.