A former Marine brutally killed three police officers and injured three others in Baton Rouge. On Sunday morning the shooter drove to Louisiana from his home in Kansas City, Missouri and opened fire on the law enforcement officers. The officers were died after they responded a call 911 about the man who was clad in black and walking around with a rifle near Airline Highway and Goodwin Boulevard.
A statement from Sheriff’s office said, “At approximately 9:00 this morning Baton Rouge Police officers and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies were involved in a shooting incident on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway. Multiple officers from both agencies sustained injuries and were transported to local hospitals.”
A witness said he heard 25-30 gunshots before police arrives at the spot. “I walked out into the street to see what was going on, there was a man lying in the street, I assume he was dead because he wasn’t moving.”
The man later identified as Gavin Eugene Long, an African-American military veteran. According to police he killed in a shootout at the scene on his birthday. The motive of the shooting is unclear.
The three law enforcement officers who were killed, two from the Baton Rouge police department and one from the East Baton Rouge Police Sheriff’s office. The injured officers, one East Baton Parish Sheriff’s deputy is in critical condition and the two others are in non-life threatening condition. The three dead officers identified as Brad Garafola, 45, Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said, “We’re grieving as a law enforcement community. We’re grieving for each other. We’re grieving for our loss and we’re grieving for our families.” Baton Rouge’s president Kip Holden grieving, “This is truly a sad day in Baton Rouge.”
A witness stated Gavin Long was clad in all black and he had arms. He said in a press conference, “There is not an active shooter scenario in Baton Rouge. We do believe, that based on the information that we have … the person that shot and killed our officers that he is the person shot and killed at the scene.”
According to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) website the ex mariner joined the Marine as a data network specialist on August, 2005 and ended his term as a sergeant on August, 2010.
Law enforcement officers recovered Long’s phone which he carried with him and the officers said that Long may have rented a car in his home town, Missouri, Kansas City and drove more than 700 miles to Baton Rouge.
Federal authorities are investigating if he had any connection with any anti-governmental group as it appears that he showed support for online.
Police believed that there were more several suspects in the attack but in a news conference the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, Col. Michael D. Edmonson, said this act was done by a lone attacker.
US President Barack Obama condemned the attack, “attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.” He stated the motives for the attack are unknown but there is no justification for the attack against law enforcement.