People

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Crime

Louisiana Police Believe White Man Killed Two Black Men in Separate Racially Motivated Attacks

Posted on

Kenneth Gleason
East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office/AP

Police in Louisiana suspect a 23-year-old white man killed two black men in separate attacks in Baton Rouge last week authorities believe were racially motivated, according to multiple reports.

Kenneth Gleason was arrested Sunday on drug charges. Investigators do not have enough evidence to charge Gleason with the two killings, reports NBC News.

Detectives used shell casings recovered from both scenes to link the fatal shootings of Bruce Cofield, 59, and Donald Smart, 49, to a single shooter.

Witnesses described seeing the same car fleeing both shooting scenes. Investigators, according to The Advocate, say Gleason drives a similar vehicle.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

According to WAFB, the shooter initially fired at the men from the car. Once the victims were wounded, the shooter exited the vehicle and fired several more rounds into the lifeless bodies.

The first shooting occurred Tuesday night, and killed Cofield, who was homeless. The second shooting happened Thursday night when Smart was walking to work. Smart is survived by a son and two daughters, according to reports.

According to The Advocate, Smart worked as a dishwasher at Louie’s Cafe in Baton Rouge.

• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.

“I’ve seen 26 years of folks washing dishes in a busy diner, and this guy is untouchable,” Louie’s general manager, Fred Simonson, told the paper. “When you have an employee like Donald, he’s the type of person who’s going to make the person next to him better.”

It wasn’t immediately clear Monday if Gleason has legal representation. He has not entered pleas to the charges he faces.

Reports alleged Gleason’s home was searched Saturday; officers found less than a gram of marijuana along with vials of human growth hormone.

Gleason allegedly told police the drugs were his.