Malecah Demoulin

Young father gunned down in Holiday Inn parking lot Monday morning as Baton Rouge gun violence soars

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Friends and family members comfort Tanaisia Detiege, fiancŽ of 23-year-old shooting victim Malecah Demoulin, lower right blue pants, as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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BRPD members chat with an onlooker as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort Tanaisia Detiege, fiance of shooting victim Malecah Demoulin, lower right blue pants, as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG
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Shooting victim Malecah Demoulin is removed from the scene by the Coronor’s Office as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Shooting victim Malecah Demoulin is removed from the scene by the Coronor’s Office as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as District Attorney Hillar Moore III, left, looks over the scene as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Waiting for information as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG
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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Maletica Byrd, mother of Malecah Demoulin who was murdered, talks about the situation as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Friends and family members comfort each other as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

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Evidence markers litter the ground as BRPD investigates a shooting at the Holiday Inn on Airline Hwy leaving one dead and one wounded Monday Oct. 25, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

  • STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

A young woman with long dreadlocks slumped against the hood of a white pickup truck in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn on Airline Highway late Monday morning, asking God how she would go on.

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“Why me, why me, why me,” Tanaisia Detiege screamed, crumpling onto the ground as three other women reached down and embraced her. “I can’t live like this.”

Her fiance, Malecah Demoulin, had been shot to death earlier that morning several yards from where she collapsed on the pavement, crying out for answers and wondering aloud about the future — a future in which her baby daughter will grow up without a dad.

“You got a whole tribe behind you,” an older woman told the young mother, rubbing her back.

Demoulin, 23, was found dead inside a black Dodge Challenger after gunfire erupted around 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn near Interstate 12. His family identified him on the scene and Baton Rouge police confirmed the identity Monday afternoon.

A woman was also injured in the shooting and transported to the hospital for treatment. Police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely Jr. said the female victim is expected to survive.

The brazen display of gun violence marks the latest deadly shooting in East Baton Rouge Parish, where a skyrocketing murder rate means unprecedented devastation. The number of murders so far this year has already broken all previous records, with at least 122 lives lost to violence — roughly one person murdered every 2.5 days, according to numbers tracked by The Advocate.

McKneely emphasized that the vast majority of these attacks are targeted: “Even though we have this increase in shootings, they are not random in nature. There’s almost always some association between victims and perpetrators.”