Sunday, June 3, 2012

Baton Rouge, LA: Police investigate 2 murder-suicide cases

In less than 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday, Baton Rouge police launched investigations into one murder-suicide and an attempted murder-suicide.

The first investigation began about 8:30 p.m. Monday on Cedarcrest Avenue when David Robinson, 57, shot and killed his 26-year-old stepdaughter, Reagan Rowe, then shot and killed himself, police spokesman Cpl. Tommy Stubbs said.

Eighteen hours later, police received a call around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday about the shooting death of Bennie Johnson, 27, and the life-threatening injuries to his 31-year-old girlfriend who were found at a house in the 4000 block of Tuscarora Street, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

The girlfriend was still alive as of Tuesday evening, McKneely said.

In the first incident, Robinson killed his stepdaughter and then himself at 3166 Cedarcrest Ave. after an argument Robinson and his wife had about getting a divorce, Stubbs said.

During the argument, Robinson tried to use the family computer and discovered that Rowe, who lived at 5864 Burgundy St., had changed the password so he couldn’t access it, Stubbs said.

Robinson grabbed a gun, shot Rowe and then himself, Stubbs said. Both died at the scene.

Robinson’s wife, Stephanie Robinson, was not injured.

A neighbor of David Robinson’s on Tuesday described him as” a ticking time bomb.”

“He didn’t like anybody,” Alton Brown said. “He didn’t even like himself.”

Brown, who lives across the street from Robinson, said every time he and his wife saw their neighbor he was armed with a gun.

“He had one on his hip and one on his leg,” Brown said. “The man was a ticking time bomb.”

Brown said he was lying in bed Monday night when he heard the gunshots go off and figured that David Robinson had fired them.

“I looked at my wife and told her he killed somebody,” Brown said. “By the time we got up, cops were everywhere.”

Stephanie Robinson’s best friend, JoAnn Harelson, said she was on the phone with Rowe when Rowe was shot and killed.

Rowe called to talk about the argument her mom and David Robinson were having, Harelson said. During the women’s conversation, Harelson said Rowe asked her to hold on.

“I hear him coming,” Harelson said Rowe told her.

Then, Rowe yelled for her mother and the phone went dead, Harelson said. Stephanie Robinson called within minutes, Harelson said, and told her that David Robinson had killed Rowe and then himself.

“He was always making threats,” Harelson said. “But I never thought he would do something like this.”

Stephanie and David Robinson met at the Golden Corral where Stephanie Robinson waits tables, Harelson said. The couple married seven years ago but was having problems, she said.

Despite their differences, and David Robinson’s temper and affinity for guns, Harelson said her friend wasn’t afraid of her husband.

“She is the kindest person,” she said. “She was doing everything she could to make the relationship work.”

In the second killing, a man found his daughter and her boyfriend, Bennie Johnson, lying in a bed at 4043 Tuscarora St., both with gunshot wounds to the head, and called police, McKneely said.

The female victim, who is six months pregnant, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, McKneely said.

Police are not sure exactly when the pair were shot, or if the couple had any domestic disputes in the past, McKneely said. Police believe the incident could be an attempted murder-suicide based on evidence gathered at the scene, McKneely said. McKneely would not elaborate on the evidence.

Johnson’s family members, however, were adamant in saying Johnson would not have killed himself because he had too much to live for.

Necchi Mosley, Johnson’s mother, said she had never known her son to be a sad person.

“That’s not true — I promise you,” Mosley said of the suicide possibility.

Willie Johnson, Bennie Johnson’s grandfather, said his grandson and the female victim, Allison Brue, lived together at the Tuscarora home and were expecting a baby in August.

Willie Johnson said his grandson went by the nickname “BJ” and had been hired four months ago to work at a pipe-making company in Baker.

Willie Johnson, who lives in Baker, said he was driving around Baton Rouge on Tuesday to pick up a plumber who was going to do maintenance on his house.

Johnson said he decided to visit his grandson’s house at 4043 Tuscarora, and as he pulled up he saw police units and firetrucks near the home.

“I said, ‘That looks like BJ’s house,’ ” Johnson said.

Willie Johnson said he had spoken to his grandson on Friday and talked to him about his life. He said he did not notice anything signifying his grandson was sad or depressed.

“That wasn’t a suicide — not BJ,” he said.

Anyone with additional information on either of these incidents is urged to contact police’ Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

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