In the early hours of Friday morning, Louisiana native Paul Rice awoke to hear police knocking at his door. He thought something was going on in his neighborhood, never imagining what would happen to him. Hours earlier, his daughter Allison, a senior at Louisiana State University, was found shot to death inside her car in downtown Baton Rouge.
“Our dogs were barking and the doorbell rang,” Rice told Fox News on Monday’s “The Story.” There had been other police calls in the middle of the night before for various reasons, such as neighborhood problems, but when they asked, “Are you Allison’s father? Can we come in?”, you knew right away that it would be awful. The news I received was much worse than I had ever imagined.”
Early Friday, Baton Rouge police officers found Rice fatally shot in her car near railroad tracks on Government Street, which was riddled with bullet holes, according to WAFB-TV. Rice, who grew up outside Baton Rouge, was studying marketing at LSU and had just turned 21, and was waiting for a train to pass when she was shot. Investigators said she may have been waiting for the train to pass at that time. She had an internship lined up and was about to graduate in May.
Neither a suspect nor a motive have been identified so far, according to Baton Rouge police.
During an interview with “The Story,” Rice said he believes that his daughter’s death was the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The only thing I can think right now is that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She did not have enemies. We do not believe that she was stalked or followed,” he said. “This type of activity is common in that part of Baton Rouge.”
In the midst of police searching for any information about Allison’s death, Rice wonders how he ended up arranging his daughter’s funeral, a 21-year-old.
“That’s something that as a parent I should never have to plan a funeral for my child. My mother should not have to be involved in a funeral for her grandchild,” he said. “This is just heartbreaking.”
Allison’s killer is being sought “around the clock” by the local police, Rice said.
The situation is being taken very seriously,” he said, “…but despite that, all indications are that there are no leads. They don’t have an explanation at this point…as of now, that particular stretch of town, they do not have the surveillance required.”
Friends remembered Rice as a “ray of sunshine” and a “beautiful soul.”
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Memorial grows after LSU student shot, killed near downtown BR – 9 WAFB
- Vandal steals cross from slain LSU student’s memorial – 2 WBRZ
- A Louisiana State University student was fatally shot while sitting in her vehicle early Friday, police say – CNN
- LSU student found shot to death in car near campus – 3 WEAR