BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – 11-year-old Matthew Fortenberry’s family was allegedly held hostage by a 17-year-old before being shot and killed.
On Thursday, Fortenberry was sitting in a car with relatives on the 5600 block of Crestway Avenue when he was shot and killed. The Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) said that the incident started inside a family member’s home.
“The 17-year-old was holding the family hostage. He was having some type of issue prior to the altercation with another family member and through the course of him trying to get that family member to come he took it upon himself to hold that family hostage,” said BRPD Chief Communications Officer Sgt. L’Jean McKneely Jr.
That’s when things escalated.
“Somebody started shooting at the 17-year-old and as he was fleeing the scene he fired multiple shots into a vehicle as to where the eleven-year-old and some family members were sitting,” McKneely said.
Fortenberry was taken to the hospital where he died due to his injuries. The motive is still under investigation.
“We are trying to find out what was the actual cause and the relationship between him and the other family member and what was causing him to be there in an attempt to get that family member to come to that residence,” said McKneely.
It is unclear if the person shooting at the 17-year-old will face charges.
“We are not sure right now. We don’t know who that person is, we think that they might have seen what was happening and then start to fire on the 17-year-old,” McKneely said.
The 17-year-old was booked into an adult prison for first-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree murder, false imprisonment with a dangerous weapon and illegal discharge of a firearm.
“We made a decision to book him into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison because of the death of the eleven-year-old,” McKneely said.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says he plans on charging the 17-year-old as an adult. The suspect’s name will not be revealed to the public until that happens.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in juvenile court Monday morning.