Person of interest in deaths of two black Baton Rouge men released on bond
Posted on 9/18/2017 11:54:00 AM.

A Baton Rouge man considered a person of interest in the shooting deaths of two black men last week, has bonded out of jail. 23-year-old Kenneth Gleason was arrested over the weekend on drug charges. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola says Gleason has yet to be cleared of the homicides.

“He still remains a person of interest between witness accounts. Similar circumstances of the shootings, along with ballistic analyzation helped us to link the two homicides together.”

The first murder took place last Tuesday night when 59-year-old Bruce Cofield was fatally shot and on Thursday, near LSU, 49-year-old Donald Smart was shot to death while walking to work. Coppola says Gleason was in a vehicle that matched the description from the two homicide investigations. He says they are still working to determine a motive.

“But we’re looking at racially motivated being a possible reason in this but we’re still looking into a possible motive.”

Coppola says Gleason was charged with possession of a schedule one, marijuana and a schedule three, human growth hormone. He says the circumstances surrounding both shootings are extremely similar.

“As far as witness accounts that investigators were able to obtain throughout the investigation, so that helped link these two together.”

Kenneth Gleason, BRPD, Don Coppola

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