See below for updates.
Two police officers were gunned down and several others were shot by an unknown gunman this morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. According to local paper, The Advocate, the scene is “contained” but as of now there is no word on the motive or the identity of the shooter.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said the area is still an active scene.
Both lanes of Airline Highway are shut down from Goodwood Boulevard to Old Hammond Highway and from Old Hammond to Drusilla Drive, Hicks said.
About 20 police officers wearing bulletproof vests are near the scene and a helicopter is flying overhead.
The shooting follows a week of increased media attention on the area after Alton Sterling was shot dead by officers in a controversial police shooting. The Baton Rouge area has seen multiple protests, most notably ones from last weekend which saw activist DeRay McKesson and several dozens others arrested after police told them not to march in the street.
This also follows a joint Baton Rouge-ATF raid of a home early last week, where law enforcement disrupted what was believed to be a planned attack on police, seizing several weapons to be used in a suspected ambush-style attack. It is not known if this was part of the same plan or a different group, but today’s shooting appears to also be an ambush on police.
The Advocate and CNN are reporting that at least seven officers are injured and three are “feared dead,” based on a statement from Baton Rouge mayor Kip Holden.
CBS News has video from the shooting. You can clearly hear several shots being fired toward police.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2016
According to the Louisiana conservative site, The Hayride, sources close to city hall have provided some updates. Here’s what we know:
- There were up to three shooters
- One of the shooters is down
Two officers are confirmed deadWAFB in Baton Rouge has reported a third officer has died
- Eight officers are injured
There is a potential hostage situation in Baton Rouge related to this morning’s shooting. There is no official confirmation on such, but sources have told The Hayride (linked above) of the situation, and are requesting all citizens stay at home until further notice.
Eyewitnesses at the scene are saying one shooter (believed to be the now-dead man at the scene) was the lure, and when six officers were close, two other gunmen began opening fire as well. Six officers were injured, three of them ultimately succumbing to their wounds. The type of attack does indeed indicate that it was a premeditated ambush on law enforcement, seemingly in the wake of the Alton Sterling shooting more than a week ago.