Breaking : 3 officers killed, 3 others injured in ‘ambush’ in Baton Rouge
East Baton Rouge Police officers patrol Airline Hwy after 3 police officers were killed early this morning on July 17, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Six law-enforcement officers shot in Baton Rouge.
- At least 3 killed.
- One officer is in critical condition.
- Suspected gunman dead.
- Two “persons of interest” detained.
Six law enforcement officers were shot in Baton Rouge Sunday morning, and at least three are dead in what police are calling a “senseless” incident.
A Louisiana state official confirmed the gunman responsible died at the scene.
“This is not an active-shooter scenario,” he said during a press conference.
Initially, police suggested two other suspects could be at large. Later Sunday, a police spokesperson said two “persons of interest” have been detained, according to the Associated Press.
CBS has identified the deceased suspect as Gavin Eugene Long, a black male from Kansas City, Missouri. He appears to have attacked police on his 29th birthday.
Three of the victims were members of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and three were East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies. Two of those killed were from the Baton Rouge PD, while one was an East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy.
Of the East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies, one is critical condition, “fighting for his life,” Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux said. Another suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The final Baton Rouge police officer involved in the incident suffered non-life-threatening injuries, as well.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
The shooting — what mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish Kip Holden called an “ambush”-style attack — happened early Sunday, less than one mile from police headquarters.
Initially, police received a call of “a guy, carrying a rifle” walking near Airline Highway, according to a Louisiana state police official. Law enforcement believes the suspect called 911 himself to lure police to the area, according to NBC’s Pete Williams.
When officers responded, the gunfire began, as can be heard in the amateur video below. After the incident, police said they were using a robot to check for explosives in the area.
During a press conference in Baton Rouge, law enforcement officials stressed they wouldn’t be answering questions because of the ongoing nature of the investigation. In addition to local and state law enforcement, the ATF, FBI, and the United States’ Marshals Service are currently assisting the investigation.
“Unspeakable and unjustified”
“To me this is not so much about gun control, as it is about what’s in men’s hearts,” Gautreaux said. “And until we come together as a nation, as a people, to heal as a people, if we don’t do that, and this madness continues, we will surely perish.”
Earlier this week, police arrested people in connection with a burglary believed to be part of a larger “credible threat” to attack officers in Baton Rouge.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing. Rest assured, every resource available to the State of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.
President Barack Obama has been briefed on the situation, a White House official said. The White House has been in contact with local officials in Baton Rouge and has offered any assistance necessary.
In a statement, Obama condemned what he called a “cowardly and reprehensible assault.”
“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. These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one,” the statement continued.
Tension in Baton Rouge
The officers’ deaths come less than two weeks after five officers were targeted and killed in Dallas, Texas during protests following the police-involved fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge.
The killing was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet and relations between police and the community have remained tense.
Demonstrators protesting police violence in Baton Rouge were arrested in large numbers last week following the death of Sterling. Local police were criticized for what has been described asa heavy handed response to otherwise peaceful demonstrations in the area.