Two 19-year-old women who were Southern University students died early Sunday morning after being shot in an apartment complex parking lot near LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge, The Advocate reported.
University officials confirmed the victims were freshman Annette January and sophomore Lashuntae Benton. January was a track star and Benton was a highly regarded student athlete trainer. The third victim, a 24-year old man, is currently in the hospital and is expected to survive.
Sgt. Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge Police spokesman told The Advocate that they don’t have a suspect or a motive. However,Theresa Tillman, Benton’s mother told the police that her daughter wasn’t the intended target of the shooting near LSU’s campus. Tillman confirmed that her daughter was attending a party at the apartment complex where the shooting occurred, the Chicago Tribune wrote.
“My baby was a very vibrant child, a beautiful child with a beautiful heart. Everybody loved her,” Tillman told the Trib.
“Both of them were very pleasant young ladies, always seemed to have smiles on their face and would brighten up my day,” Southern Athletic Director Roman Banks told The Advocate. “That makes it even tougher.” He added, “It’s a real tragedy. These students chose to do the right things, but it seems they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Flags on Southern’s campus were lowered to half staff in memory of the young women and a candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night, KATC wrote.
We send our deepest condolences to the January and Benton family.