Reports out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana suggest that at least three police officers have been shot and possibly killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday morning. According to Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, “There is still an active scene. They are investigating. Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything. It’s just been one thing after another.”
Tensions have been high in the wake of the Alton Sterling killing in Baton Rouge, a town whose police department has been criticized for numerous race-related controversies prior to the Sterling incident. A public funeral was held for Sterling on Friday after a number of protests garnered national attention last weekend, largely due to the heavily armored presence and aggressive nature of the Baton Rouge police. After being criticized for its tactics, BRPD leaders claimed that there had been threats made to officers in the days leading up to the protests.
This is a developing story and we’ll provide updates as they come.
UPDATE #1: The Baton Rouge mayor’s office confirms that two police officers have been killed.
UPDATE #2: CNN’s Brian Stelter relayed a report on-air from his colleague Don Lemon. Lemon reports that “a source with knowledge of the investigation” says that “seven officers have been shot and at least three officers are dead.” According to Lemon, a “suspicious person” was reported to be walking down a major street in Baton Rouge with an assault rifle. When police arrived on the scene, the armed man opened fire.
UPDATE: #3: Reports indicate that the shooter has been shot.
UPDATE #4: A Baton Rouge police spokesman announced that they believe other individuals besides the suspect who’s been shot were involved in the shootings. They are sweeping the community looking for suspects and are asking for help in locating them.
“We do believe there’s more than one suspect,” the spokesperson said. “Be on the lookout. We need (the public’s) assistance…If you see anybody suspicious in nature, if they’re wearing Army fatigues, if they’re wearing all black, if they’re wearing masks…please give us a call.”
UPDATE #5: MSNBC reports that Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge says that in addition to the three deceased police officers, a fourth is in critical condition and a fifth is in fair condition.
UPDATE #6: The Advocate of Baton Rouge confirms with two sources that the deceased shooter is from Missouri.
Some media reports also indicate that a 4th officer has died, but law enforcement sources tell The Advocate that only three have died.
UPDATE #6: CNN adds that the dead suspect was indeed wearing a mask and dressed in all black. Baton Rouge Police Department Sgt. Don Coppola didn’t reveal details except to confirm “some type of mask to conceal [the shooter’s] identity.”
UPDATE #7: Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards issued a statement on this morning’s shootings. He called the latest violence “an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing.” Edwards also tweeted that “violence is not the answer.”
UPDATE #10: A terror-filled clip from a livestreaming witness has surfaced along with this New York Times social media compilation.