Three officers are confirmed dead and at least three others wounded after a shooting in Baton Rouge Sunday morning. One suspect is dead and law enforcement officials believe two others are still at large, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
Gov. John Bel Edwards rushed to the hospital where the shot officers were taken.
The shooting happened just before 9 a.m.at a gas station, less than 1 mile from police headquarters. It comes amid spiraling tensions across the city, and the country, between the black community and police.
Officers and deputies from the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office were involved, but the races of officers and the suspect or suspects is unknown.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he had spoken to officials from the White House, who offered to assist in any way possible.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) 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.”
“This tragic shooting affects black and white, rich and poor, civilians and public servants alike,” said Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger F. Villere, Jr., in a statement.
“This cowardly crime is an attack on the values of law and order that members of the Baton Rouge community so desperately tried to maintain in the 12 days since the eyes of the world focused on our state.”
“We send this message to those who would threaten to divide us: We are Louisiana and we will stand united and prayerful against evil,” he added. “We are reminded in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Republican Presidental candidate Donald Trump responded to the news.
We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today. How many law enforcement and people have to…https://t.co/pPNrzG8kEa
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
Evangelist Franklin Graham called on people to pray for the city of Baton, Rouge.
Pray for the city of Baton Rouge today. Three police officers are feared dead in another shooting. https://t.co/AfuybUxBSY
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) July 17, 2016
Police-community relations in Baton Rouge have been especially tense since the killing of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white officers earlier this month after a scuffle at a convenience store. The killing was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet.
It was followed a day later by the shooting death of another black man in Minnesota, whose girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath of his death on Facebook. Then on Thursday, a black gunman in Dallas opened fire on police at a protest about the police shootings, killing five officers and heightening tensions even further.
Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets in Baton Rouge to condemn Sterling’s death, including hundreds of demonstrators who congregated outside the police station. Authorities arrested about 200 people over the three-day weekend.
Michelle Rogers, 56, said the pastor at her church had led prayers Sunday for Sterling’s family and police officers, asking members of the congregation to stand up if they knew an officer.
Rogers said an officer in the congregation hastily left the church near the end of the service, and a pastor announced that “something had happened.”
“But he didn’t say what. Then we started getting texts about officers down,” she said.
Rogers and her husband drove near the scene, but were blocked at an intersection closed down by police.
“I can’t explain what brought us here,” she said. “We just said a prayer in the car for the families.”
Report via CBN News
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