A suspect in the shooting death of a man after an argument at a Baton Rouge budget motel plagued by opioid-related deaths and homicides has been arrested, police say.
Troopers on Friday afternoon arrested Maurice Mallory, 27, in connection with the Wednesday morning shooting of Sedrick Lewis at the FairBridge Inn Express on Boardwalk Drive, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said in a statement.
McKneely said Mallory was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of second-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon.
The FairBridge Inn Express, where police responded shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday, has been the scene of recent deaths due to gun violence and opioids. The motel is one of several along Interstate 12 that drive the city’s fentanyl problem, an Advocate investigation found this year.
Lewis’ slaying marked the 101st homicide of the year in East Baton Rouge Parish, records kept by The Advocate show. The newspaper tracks intentional and involuntary manslaughter on the FBI’s criminal reporting guidelines, the data is preliminary and subject to change if any killing is determined to be justified or unintentional.
It came amid a drop in the city’s homicide rate following a spike in violent crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even amid the decline in homicides, a cluster of motels near I-12 has played host to a steady stream of deaths — homicides, nonfatal shootings and drug overdoses.
James Finn is a Baton Rouge-based crime reporter for The Advocate The Times-Picayune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @rjamesfinn.