White Man Arrested in Potentially Race-Based Murders

Police say Kenneth Gleason killed 2 black men, fired into home of black family
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2017 4:28 PM CDT
Hitler Speech Found in Home of Man Arrested in La. Murders
Kenneth James Gleason is escorted by police to a waiting police car in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Police have arrested a 23-year-old white man who allegedly killed two black men and fired shots into the home of a black family over the past two weeks in Louisiana, the AP reports. Kenneth Gleason, who was arrested Tuesday in Baton Rouge on suspicion of first-degree murder, was tied to the three shootings via DNA on shell casings and other evidence, authorities say. "It appears to be cold, calculated, planned (against) people who were unarmed and defenseless," DA Hillar Moore says of the murders. He adds the death penalty may be on the table. A search of the house where Gleason lives with his parents turned up a speech by Hitler, as well as marijuana and human growth hormone. According to the Washington Post, an attorney says Gleason "strongly denies the allegations."

Authorities say Gleason fired multiple shots into the home of a black family Sept. 11. No one was injured, and it's unclear if Gleason knew the family. He allegedly shot and killed a 59-year-old homeless man Sept. 12 and a 49-year-old dishwasher Sept. 14. He didn't know either of the victims, and police have yet to say if the killings were racially motivated. Gleason was named a person of interest in the shootings and arrested Saturday on drug charges. He was released Sunday on bond only to be arrested again Monday for allegedly stealing a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from a bookstore last week, the Advocate reports. He was released Tuesday on bond before being re-arrested on the murder charges. Police Chief Jonny Dunnam says Gleason's arrest likely saved lives: "I feel confident that this killer would have killed again." (More murder stories.)

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