After a string of shootings on Burbank Drive over the past two weeks, including one that led a restaurant to cancel one of its weekly events, Baton Rouge Police Department Spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely says the department believes the uptick in crime near LSU are isolated incidents and are not indicative of an emerging trend for the area.
Last week, gunshots in the area panicked patrons at Mellow Mushroom, reportedly creating a mob situation that led the establishment to cancel its Wednesday karaoke night indefinitely.
On Monday, a Taco Bell employee was shot at the Mexican fast-food restaurant. Two teenagers were arrested for the shots that led to chaos at Mellow Mushroom, while an arrest has yet to be made for the Taco Bell shooting.
Employees at both Mellow Mushroom and Taco Bell declined comment.
McKneely says police don’t know what led to the two teens to shoot, but they believe the separate Taco Bell shooting was caused by a dispute.
“We do not expect or suspect continued criminal activity from the area, especially shootings,” McKneely says, adding they don’t believe the crimes to be student related or spillage from nearby Tigerland.
In the meantime, McKneely says they’ve increased patrols in the immediate area, though not more officers.
Metro Council member Barbara Freiberg, who represents the area and lives three blocks away, says three constituents reached out to her after the Mellow Mushroom incident with concerns about the uptick in crime.
“This is the first this kind of disruption has occurred that I’m aware of,” Freiberg says. “I think it’s on everyone’s radar now and we’ll be looking at this with a more careful eye.”
LSU representatives were not available to comment on the matter before this afternoon’s deadline.