1 Suspect Dead After Multiple Cops Shot, 3 Fatally, in Baton Rouge
Six officers were shot on Sunday, including three who were killed, after a man opened fire on police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, officials said.
The shooter, identified as 29-year-old Gavin Long, was killed in the ensuing shootout, law enforcement officials said, stressing during a press conference on Sunday that there was no active shooter situation in the city.
Police responding to a call of suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle about 8:40 a.m. local time reported a man wearing all black standing behind a beauty supply store.
The man began shooting at law enforcement, killing a 41-year-old police officer with less than one year of service and a 32-year-old police officer with 10 years of service with the Baton Rouge Police Department and a 45-year-old deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
Three others were wounded in the shooting. A 41-year-old deputy was in critical condition as a 51-year-old deputy and 41-year-old police officer were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect was shot dead at the scene and police used a specialized robot to check for explosives near his body.
He had been wearing a mask that authorities believed was meant to conceal his identity, Baton Rouge Police Department Sgt. Don Coppola told CNN.
Law enforcement officials asked the Baton Rouge community to remain indoors and to report any suspicious persons or activity immediately, as they believe two additional persons connected to the shooting may be on the loose.
"If they are wearing army fatigues; if they are wearing all black; if they are wearing a mask; if they are wearing anything that's out there, please, give us a call," McKneely said.
Multiple police units were stationed at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where officers were being treated. A police officer with a long gun was blocking the parking lot at the emergency room, the Associated Press wrote.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards rushed to the hospital after receiving word of the shooting.
"This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing," he said in a statement. "Rest assured, every resource available to the State of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. For now, I'm asking all Louisiana to join Donna and me in praying for the officers who were involved and their families as the details continue to unfold."
Calling the shooting "unspeakable", "heinous" and "unjustified," Edwards said at a press conference: "We have to do better. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and the people who carried out this attack... they do not represent the people of Louisiana... they don't represent the values we stand for."
"There simply is no place for more violence... it is just an injustice in and of itself," he continued.
Sunday's shooting comes after the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police earlier this month.
Police in the area have been concerned about threats against officers ever since.
Three suspects, including a 13-year old boy, were arrested last week in connection to an alleged plot to kill officers in Louisiana.
The suspects allegedly broke into a local pawn shop and stole several guns.
Police say one of the suspects, 17-year-old Antonio Thomas, told investigators that they planned to shoot police.
"We can't take anything for granted anymore," East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said after the arrests.
President Barack Obama was briefed on Sunday's shooting and has asked to be updated throughout the day as further details become available, the White House said.
"I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge. For the second time in two weeks, police officers who put their lives on the line for ours every day were doing their job when they were killed in a cowardly and reprehensible assault," the President said in a statement. "These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop."
Obama said his and the federal government's full support is at the disposal of Edwards, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, the Sheriff's Office and the Baton Rouge Police Department, adding, "make no mistake – justice will be done."
"We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None," Obama said. "These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes. The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas – they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best.
"Today, on the Lord’s day, all of us stand united in prayer with the people of Baton Rouge, with the police officers who’ve been wounded, and with the grieving families of the fallen. May God bless them all."