BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – A business owner says he’s leaving downtown Baton Rouge after the wild shootout over the weekend left multiple bullet holes in his window and sent people scrambling.
The shootout happened early Sunday morning, September 10, after the bars closed.
RELATED: WATCH: Video shows people running for cover after hearing multiple gunshots in downtown BR, police investigating
According to Baton Rouge Police, multiple shots were fired in the 200 block of Lafayette Street around 2:45 a.m., but no one was hit.
However, a few vehicles and many windows of buildings were struck by bullets.
James Curtis has operated many businesses out of the space on Florida Street for the past 5 years now. He currently uses it as a studio and a personal workshop for his design business.
But after last weekend’s shooting, he simply has had enough and plans to move his business elsewhere in Baton Rouge or somewhere else.
“This was the nail in the coffin. This will be our last month at this location.
When people are more attracted to the bullet holes than they are to anything else that’s here, it should be a sign that that’s a problem,” said Curtis.
Officials with the Downtown Development District (DDD) say this was a rare occurrence that happened after the bars closed and people were supposed to be heading home.
“Downtown is a safe place when people are here and doing things like going to work, going to a show, going to restaurants, all those sort of things. It’s just really unfortunate to hear that this happened,” said Whitney Hoffman Sayal, Executive Director of the DDD on Tuesday.
“As much as we’ve met some amazing people, at the end of the day, downtown Baton Rouge is not worth dying for,” said Curtis.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released a statement on the shootout this past weekend:
“We fully recognize the concerns raised by the business owner, and we’re actively taking measures to address this pressing issue. Let it be known, we have a zero-tolerance policy for lawlessness and any form of dangerous activity within our community.
After the incident occurred, BRPD responded immediately. Detectives are currently working with witnesses, business owners, and reviewing camera footage to hold those responsible accountable.
Our commitment to enhancing safety in downtown Baton Rouge is unwavering. Recent actions include reassigning approximately 8 police officers to downtown. We’re also advancing our plans to construct a 24-hour police station downtown, reaffirming our dedication to safety.
In order to further fortify security measures, BRPD frequently assigns officers for overtime details, particularly during weekends when they are most needed. It’s worth noting that this year, downtown has experienced only 2 shootings with injuries and 1 domestic-related homicide. Nevertheless, even one incident is one too many, and we remain steadfast in our efforts to prevent such occurrences.
Collaborating with private-public partnerships, we are expediting the installation of additional crime cameras in downtown areas, adding an extra layer of security. Our primary goal is to create and uphold a secure environment that not only safeguards businesses but also propels their success.
We hold our businesses in the highest regard, and our resolute commitment is to ensure that the entirety of Baton Rouge becomes a safer and more prosperous place for everyone.”
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2023 WAFB. All rights reserved.