Two Southern University students were killed in a shooting near the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge early Sunday morning.
CBS News reports that Lashuntae Benton and Annette January, both 19, were at a party thrown by members of the track team when gunfire broke out between two men. Neither girl was the intended target of the attack, police Sgt. Don Coppola said in a statement.
Ernest Bernard Felton is currently facing charges of attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, and the second man was sent to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Both women were dedicated students and talented athletes, the Chicago Tribune reports. Benton, a sophomore, was a student athletic trainer and January, a freshman, was a member of Southern's track and field team.
“My baby was a very vibrant child, a beautiful child with a beautiful heart," Theresa Tillman, Benton's mother, told CBS, "Everybody loved her."
Benton was studying sports medicine at Southern and had played softball, track and volleyball during high school. "She was very ambitious," Tillman said.
Dawn January told CBS that said her daughter, Annette, was outgoing and aspired to be an entrepreneur.
January was captain of the track team and a member of the student council at her high school in Gary, Illinois, her former track coach, Jerae Protho-Guider, told CBS.
"Annette wanted to be the best at whatever she did," she said. "It feels like a nightmare, like I'm just waiting to wake up," she added.
Flags flew half-mast at Southern University on Sunday, in memory of Benton and January.