A Louisiana town mourns the death of a 21-year-old marketing student who was found shot to death in her car, where authorities believe she was waiting for a train.
A memorial of flowers and stuffed animals has taken shape near the train tracks where Allison Rice was discovered around 2 a.m. Friday on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La., local TV station WAFB/Channel 9 said.
Police have not disclosed the motive or suspects of the murder. Several shots were fired at the vehicle, according to local media. Witnesses told New Orleans TV channel WWL that Rice attempted a U-turn before shots were heard.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broom denounced the “senseless violence” that led to Rice’s death in a statement in which he enlisted the help of law enforcement, school officials and students to bring the killer or killers to justice.
Rice, of Geismar, La., was a senior at Louisiana State University, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge-based university said.
The Dutchtown High School graduate was on her high school’s homecoming court, WAFB reported. Those who knew the victim described her as beloved and outgoing.
Rice reportedly worked at an off-campus barbecue restaurant called The Shed, which is partially owned by her family. A co-owner called Rice’s death “just devastating” and said staff were in tears over the tragic shooting.
WWL-TV was told Rice was preparing to graduate and begin an internship.
Baton Rouge is the capital of the state of Bayou. About 230,000 people live there.
BRProud.com reported in early 2022 that the city had seen a spike in violent crime in recent years. LSU sociology professor Ed Shihadeh reportedly blamed the city’s crime problems, which he said have no “institutional ties, no connections to institutions in our society.”