Three Police Officers Dead, Others Injured In Baton Rouge Shooting

Sunday, July 17th 2016, 12:01 pm
By: News On 6

Three police officers were killed and several officers wounded in a shootout in Baton Rouge, reports CBS affiliate WAFB.

Police responded to a report of officers shot at a location on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway around 9 a.m., WAFB reports.

Baton Rouge police are still processing the scene. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are assisting. The suspect in the shooting is dead, authorities said.

There were rumors that two other suspects had been taken into custody, but police denied that during a news conference.

Authorities also took a suspect vehicle, a gray Nissan with Texas plates. It's a fluid situation, and WAFB continues to learn more.

During the shooting BRPD officers and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies were struck during gunfire exchange. Five of the officers were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Three of those have died. Two of the officers remain at the hospital - one is reportedly in fair condition and the other is in critical condition.

An East Baton Rouge Parish Deputy was transported to the Baton Rouge General with non-life threatening injuries. 

A witness described hearing at least 25 to 30 gunshots when the shooting began. The witness believes the shooting started before police arrived.

“I walked out into the street to see what was going on, there was a man lying in the street," the witness said. "I assume he was dead because he wasn’t moving."

During a call to dispatch an officer said, "unknown where the shots are coming from." 

Earlier Sunday, Sgt. Don Coppola with the Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed to WAFB: "Multiple officers struck by gunfire."

The shooting happened near the B Quick store on Airline Highway.

President Barack Obama says he condemns, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge.

Obama says the attacks on police officers, the second in two weeks, are "attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop. "

Obama is responding Sunday after three police officers in Baton Rouge were fatally shot and three others wounded. Obama says he has offered the full support of the federal government to Louisiana state and local officials.

Obama says the motives for the attack are unknown, but there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. He said the attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one.

Baton Rouge has been filled with tension since the July 5 shooting of a black man pinned to the ground by white police officers.

At a three-hour service Friday, mourners paid their respects to 37-year-old Alton Sterling, whose shooting outside a convenience store began a tumultuous week in race relations in America.  

Last week, police arrested and identified three young people who they say plotted to kill Baton Rouge cops using guns stolen from a pawn shop. Law enforcement said at a conference they believe it to be a substantial and credible threat on police officers in the Baton Rouge area.

On Friday, grieving residents of Baton Rouge honored an appeal at the funeral of Sterling to celebrate his life rather than demonstrate about his death.

"If you want to protest, please leave now," Gary Chambers, master of ceremonies for the funeral, said at the beginning that the event at Southern University.

A steady stream of mourners filed past Sterling's casket, which was adorned with music notes and a smiling photo of the man. Sterling was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart store, as he had done for years, when he was killed by police responding to a call of a man threatening someone with a gun. Police have said they found a gun in Sterling's pocket.

Sterling's death was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet. His death, along with another fatal police shooting in Minnesota last week, sparked widespread protests. Then the fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas by a black sniper heightened tensions even more.

Sterling's death heightened tensions in Baton Rouge, where about 200 protesters were arrested over the weekend. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office reviewed initial police reports on 185 arrests between July 8-11 and determined it will not prosecute roughly 100 of those cases.