Louisiana police investigate links in slayings of homeless

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The slayings of three homeless people this month in Louisiana’s capital city could be connected, police officials say.

The most recent killing was discovered Friday when investigators found 50-year-old Tony Williams shot to death on the porch of a vacant home about two blocks away from where two other homeless people, Christina Fowler, 53, and Gregory Corcoran, 40, had been found fatally shot two weeks earlier.

Amanda Owens says she is part of Baton Rouge’s homeless population. She told The Advocate the recent crimes have put the community on edge.

“Do I have a target on my back, or what?” she said.

Baton Rouge police are investigating links between the crimes, though it’s not yet certain whether homeless people are being targeted, Chief Murphy Paul said Friday. He added that steps are being taken to protect the community, and local shelters are expanding services in the wake of the violence, The Advocate reported Monday.

One such shelter, St. Vincent de Paul, has increased its capacity, executive director Michael Acaldo said.

Darrell Blanks, 63, has been staying at a nearby shelter for the past four years and said the slayings have made him uneasy.

“Someone’s got hatred in their heart for the homeless,” Blanks told the newspaper.

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