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Louisiana police arrest two in possible ‘knockout game’ death

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Chuck Ross
Reporter, Daily Caller News Foundation

Two Louisiana teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder in an attack motivated by a competition between the two to see who could hit harder, according to local police.

Windall Herring, 19, and an unnamed 15-year-old were arrested in Baton Rouge on Tuesday for the murder of 55-year-old John Bannon.

The attack occurred near Bannon’s home around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. Bannon was rushed to a hospital trauma unit, but succumbed last Friday to his injuries which included a fractured skull and brain hemorrhaging, according to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

“During our investigation we learned that the suspects were having a conversation about ‘who could hit the hardest’ when suddenly the victim was observed walking in close proximity to their location,” Baton Rouge spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. told The Daily Caller News Foundation. ”It was decided at that moment by the suspects that they were going to target the victim together and intentionally strike him with their fist to determine who in fact could hit the victim the hardest.” (RELATED: New York cops call videotaped knockout attack ‘harassment,’ not assault)

The investigation also led police to believe that the suspects asked Bannon whether he had anything of value on him. The police could not provide if anything of value was taken from him, said Coppola Jr.

Witnesses to the attack said the two suspects fled the scene after throwing the fatal punch. Herring and the juvenile were initially charged with second-degree battery, but landed the murder charge after Bannon died. (RELATED: Feds charge alleged knockout game white attacker with hate crime)

Herring, who is also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, is being held on $110,000 bail, according to an East Baton Rouge sheriff’s office bond document.

If motivated by competition, the attack would closely resemble what has been dubbed “knockout game.” Though not a game for the victims, attackers view it as a competition to see if they can knock their chosen targets out with one punch. Several media outlets, including The New York Times and CNN, have debated whether the attacks are widespread enough to be considered a trend. (RELATED: Knockout game first news trend New York Times doesn’t believe)

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