Baton Rouge, LA – Shortly before 9 a.m. this morning, shots rang out nearby Baton Rouge’s Hammond Aire Plaza, a local shopping center, leaving three law enforcement officials — one East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office deputy and two Baton Rouge Police officers — dead and three others wounded.
The suspects have yet to be identified but one was reportedly killed at the scene and two others were apprehended for questioning after being spotted changing their all-black clothes in a nearby Walmart, WAFB-TV reports.
Baton Rouge Police Department Sgt. Don Coppola tells CNN the dead suspect was wearing “some type of mask to conceal (the shooter’s) identity” after they responded to a call involving a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” the shooting began.
This latest attack on law enforcement comes in a city still reeling from the Alton Sterling shooting less than two weeks ago when cell phone footage captured two police officers fatally shooting the black man who had no weapons in his hand. A day later, a Minnesota cop fatally shot 32-year-old Philando Castille as he sat in the passenger seat of the vehicle he was pulled over in that possessed a broken taillight.
Then, on July 7, 2016, in an unsolicited retaliation, Micah Xavier Johnson used a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas as cover to kill five police officers and injure eleven others before he was killed by a robot denotation bomb following an intense standoff. President Obama condemned the attack on law enforcement and did the same for the recent shooting in Baton Rouge.
“These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop,” Obama said in a statement through the White House.
“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,” the president stated. “I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None,” the president continued. “These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”
“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,” Obama said. “May God bless them all.”
Authorities also recently thwarted an alleged plot to kill Baton Rouge police officers on July 16, which included stolen handguns from a pawn shop and a 12-year-old boy.