No arrests in connected BR killings; police aren't ruling out po

No arrests in connected BR killings; police aren't ruling out possibility crimes were racially motivated

Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, BRPD (Source: WAFB) Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, BRPD (Source: WAFB)
Kenneth Gleason, 23 (Source: EBRSO) Kenneth Gleason, 23 (Source: EBRSO)

The Baton Rouge Police Department has still not made an arrest in a pair of deadly shootings last week that evidence shows are linked, but detectives are still taking a hard look at a man they brought in for questioning in connection to the crimes Saturday afternoon.

Kenneth Gleason, 23, was questioned one day after police said they were investigating whether the crimes were connected.

"He was questioned for a number of hours on yesterday which led into the night," said BRPD spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.

The 23-year-old was arrested after the questioning, but McKneely wants to be clear that the arrest was not related to the killings.

"There are details that are surrounding the case that are quite interesting to us but he has not been arrested for any of the shootings. He was arrested for drug charges and that was based on search warrant that we had at his home," McKneely added.

Two black men were gunned down within 48 hours of each other last week. The crimes were roughly five miles away from each other. One happened Tuesday night on Florida Boulevard and the other was late Thursday night on Alaska Street. Ballistic evidence links both crimes to the same gun and police have revealed the two random shootings may have been racially motivated.

"We're looking at other motives but that's definitely on the table," said McKneely.

McKneely tells 9News that there are factors police are not yet releasing that support the theory but he wants to caution the public because the investigation is still ongoing.

"We don't want to be closed off to that and we don't want the public to think that's exactly what it is because it could possibly change based off information that we gather during the course of this investigation," he added.

While Gleason has not been charged in the shootings, McKneely tells 9News the 23-year-old is not in the clear and they will go wherever the evidence leads.

"We are definitely looking at Mr. Gleason and we're still working the case. We don't want to slander him in any kind of way without saying that he is the guy or anyone else so we're very cautious of that," said McKneely.

McKneely adds another thing they are being cautious about is what information gets released to the public. He said a newspaper report Friday contained information from a private police document and he believes that hurt the case.

"Information was put out there without us wanting it out there and that information that was put out there was very hurtful in our case I'll tell you that and we wanted to be sure to put that out. It hurt the case," he added.

A judge set Gleason's bond at $3,500. He made that bond Monday and was released.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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