'Senseless act of violence': One critical among 12 injured in Louisiana night club mass shooting

'Senseless act of violence': One critical among 12 injured in Louisiana night club mass shooting
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul (R) (saWWLTV/video screen grab, BRPD/ Facebook)

BATON ROUGE, LOUSIANA: According to police, as many as 12 people were shot inside a nightclub on Bennington Avenue early on Sunday, January 22, 2023, and rushed to the hospital. At around 1.30 am, a gunshot was heard inside the Dior Bar and Lounge at 4619 Bennington Avenue close to College Drive, according to police spokesman Sgt L'Jean McKneely Jr. 

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The Advocate reported that five victims were taken to the hospital by Greater Baton Rouge Emergency Services, with injuries ranging from critical to stable, an EMS representative confirmed. Private vehicles carried the additional seven victims to the hospital. According to officials, one of the victims is in critical condition. Police believe the early morning incident was "targeted," but no arrests have been made, KCRA reported.

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"This was not a random act of violence, based on the preliminary investigating efforts," Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul stated at a press conference Sunday afternoon. He reportedly added, "We believe that this was a targeted event, where someone was specifically targeted and others were injured in that process."

As per the report, when gunfire rang out at the Dior Bar & Lounge at 1.30 am, three Baton Rouge police officers who were in the area immediately went to the scene and provided life-saving care before emergency medical personnel came. "We believe their immediate response prevented further injuries," Paul stated. The police chief then urged everyone with information on the incident to come forward, despite the fact that police have some leads. "There is someone who knows something — do the right thing. You can save the next incident because it is obvious that this person has total disregard for life," Paul claimed.

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Police remained mum over how many of the victims were targeted and how many shooters started shooting. "I do understand the interest and everybody wanting information, but remember ... we have to get this right," Paul informed about the ongoing probe. "And sometimes, getting it right means I can't give information right now," he added.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, who met with mayors from other major US cities last week in Washington, DC, to discuss crime, termed the shooting "a senseless act of violence that will not go unchecked." "We will not stop our work until everyone feels safe and individuals no longer turn to guns to resolve their differences," Broome posted on Twitter. 

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Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Baton Rouge police at (225) 389-4864 or Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

MEAWW will be adding details to the story as it is developing.

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