BATON ROUGE, LA– The hunt continues for suspects after a shooting in Baton Rouge that claimed the lives of three police officers Sunday, according to CNN.
A local source has confirmed the identity of the slain officers. Montrell Jackson,32, was a 10 year vet to the department, Mathew Gerald, 41, Brad Garafola.
Local media identified Gavin Long, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri as the shooting suspect that was killed by a police officer during the Baton Rouge shooting Sunday morning. Three officers; two from Baton Rouge police and one East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy were killed in that shooting.
Update: President Barack Obama has addressed the nation following the shooting deaths of three police officers in Baton Rouge.
President Obama said that it is not the time for inflammatory, political rhetoric or agenda pushing.
“We need to temper our words, all of us,” said the President. “Only we can prove that we have the grace…the common humanity.. to end this kind of violence, to set an example for our children.”
The White House released the following statement from the President earlier today:
“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. These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.
“I’ve offered my full support, and the full support of the federal government, to Governor Edwards, Mayor Holden, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department. And 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. 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.”
Update: Three officers died in Baton Rouge Sunday after responding to reports of a suspicious man walking down the highway with a rifle. 2 Baton Rouge Police officers, ages 41 and 32 were killed, as well as one East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy, who was 45 years old.
Two additional deputies were injured. One is in critical condition, just finished with surgery, and that deputy is 41 years old. The other is in surgery but the injuries are not life threatening. That deputy is 51.
Colonel Michael Edmonson of Louisiana State Police, Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie, Mayor Kip Holden and Governor John Bel Edwards all held a press conference today in Baton Rouge to brief the situation, but also to reiterate the service to the public.
“Public safety remains our top priority,” said Chief Dabadie, as he urged anyone that may have information regarding what happened, or if something is seen that is suspicious that residents make those reports.
Col. Edmonson expressed that this isn’t a political issue.
“This isn’t so much about gun control,” said Col. Edmonson. “As it is about what’s in people’s hearts.”
Mayor Kip Holden expressed that the people of Baton Rouge will recover from this shooting, as well as other events, such as the Alton Sterling shooting and following protests.
“We pledge to them (the fallen officers) and their families,” said Mayor Holden. “We will be their first responders. We will be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the violence that has taken place in Baton Rouge.
“The violence has to stop,” said Governor Edwards. “These attacks are unjustified, unjustifiable, and unspeakable.”
All of the officials stated that right now, no more information will be released as the investigation is open and ongoing. Another press briefing will be held Monday at 1pm.
News Mississippi will continue to follow this story.
Governor John Bel Edwards is to speak momentarily on the Baton Rouge shooting. WAFB TV is streaming the press conference.
While the identity of the suspects in question is unknown, the Advocate reported that the suspect that was killed was a man from Missouri.
WAFB-TV reminded the public “We don’t know exactly what happened from law enforcement.” They have non-stop coverage streaming now.
Fox News reported that two men have been taken into questioning regarding the shooting.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 17, 2016
Update: Audio from the police radio has been released. “Shots fired! Officer down!” can be heard in the initial call.
One suspect is dead, but it is believed that two more are still on the run.
Witnesses observed a man with an assault rifle walking down Airline Highway. The shooter opened fire on responding police officers. Six were hit, three were killed. Baton Rouge police are asking for any tips regarding the suspects.
“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,” said Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L.J. McKneely to CNN.
While one shooter is dead, police are still calling the scene surrounding the shooting as an “active” scene. Residents are being asked to avoid Government Street and Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant released a statement regarding the shootings via Facebook:
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards also expressed his regret over the situation via social media:
Congressional Black Caucus has released a statement regarding the shooting. They have said it is time to end violence in the country.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Captain Johnny Poulos released a statement on behalf of the officers and their families in Baton Rouge:
“We have the Baton Rouge Police Department and their families in our thoughts regarding these challenging times concerning law enforcement and we ask the public to please do the same.”
This is a developing story, and News Mississippi will continue to keep you updated.