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Man Killed During March In Baton Rouge

Tue., Jan. 20, 1998

Gunshots fired during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march on Monday killed one man and wounded three young children, one of them critically.

Police searched for at least one gunman, who was believed to be black, said Cpl. Don Kelly, a police spokesman. The motive is believed to be personal, not racial or political, he said.

All the victims were black, and the shooting may have been a result of a fight among the marchers, Kelly said.

There were not many spectators in the commercial area near downtown.

“We watched them go by, and everyone seemed as happy as could be - until the shooting happened,” said Elaine Tucker, office manager for a locksmith shop.

“It went pop, pop, pop, pop - four shots right off,” she said. “Then people began running everywhere.”

Kelly described the aftermath of the shooting as “mass pandemonium.”

An unidentified 25-year-old man was shot to death, police said. A 6-year-old girl was in critical condition with a gunshot wound in her back. An 11-year-old girl, shot in a leg and hand, and a 9-year-old boy, shot in a leg, were in guarded condition.

Several hundred people, most of them students, were marching.

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