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Arrest made in rural Baton Rouge area killings

Ryan Sharpe, middle, photo courtesy WBRZ

CLINTON, La. — A Clinton, Louisiana, man will be booked into jail tonight on three first-degree murder charges and an attempted murder charge for reportedly shooting four people, possibly at random, over a few-month period.

The heads of several area law enforcement agencies gathered in East Feliciana Parish tonight to announce the arrest of 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe, who police said confessed to the murders and shootings. Two of the murders happened in East Feliciana Parish, and one happened in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Sharpe fled from police when they tried to apprehend him at his home, leading officers on a multi-parish chase before he was detained in Clinton. He was armed at the time of his arrest.

Authorities said detectives have significant physical evidence linking Sharpe to the crimes, but they would not give a motive for the killings or call Sharpe a serial killer.

The latest victim, 48-year-old Boy Scout leader  Brad DeFranceschi, was shot and killed at the back of his property Oct. 9, according to WBRZ.

DeFranceschi was a scout leader at the popular Avondale Scout Reservation, which is next to his rural home.

The first victim, 62-year-old Thomas Bass, was killed July 8. The second victim, who was injured in the shooting, is 47-year-old Buck Hornsby, and the third victim was identified as 66-year-old Carroll Breeden. Three of the men were shot in drive-by shootings, but investigators told The Advocate that Bass’ killer would have had to come on the victim’s property.