BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana say that several officers have been shot in Baton Rouge while on duty.
The shooting happened early Sunday, less than 1 mile from police headquarters.
Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola did not know the extent of the injuries or give the precise number of officers injured. He says they were rushed to a local hospital.
He said that authorities believe the “scene is contained,” meaning that a shooter was unlikely on the loose.
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.
Three police officers have been shot dead in Baton Rouge, La., and others may have been wounded, authorities said Sunday.
The three officers were shot near the department headquarters, Baton Route Mayor Kip Holden told MSNBC. At least four others were injured in the shooting, he said.
“They are investigating,” he said. “Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything.”
Two Baton Rouge police officers and one East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy are dead, according to WBRZ-TV’s Michael Vinsanau.
The gunman was shot, a Louisiana State Police spokesman said, but his condition was not immediately clear.
Both lanes of Airline Highway are shut down from Goodwood Boulevard to Old Hammond Highway and from Old Hammond to Drusilla Drive, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks. The scene is still active, Hicks told The Advocate.
About 20 police officers wearing bulletproof vests are near the scene and a helicopter was flying overhead, the paper reported.
The Baton Rouge mayor’s office urged urged people to stay home, stay off the streets for now in immediate wake of police shooting, according to The Advocate.
A witness told WBRZ-TV that a man was dressed in black with his face covered was shooting indiscriminately when he walked out between a convenience store and car wash across from Hammond Air Plaza. Police closed the streets between the police department’s headquarters and Interstate 12.
Vinsanau of WBRZ tweeted that more than a dozen marked and unmarked police cars have sped to the scene, and that a SWAT team is on location. State police armed with rifles are posted blocks away, Vinsanau tweeted.
Baton Rouge police have been under scrutiny after officers fatally shot Alton Sterling, 37, on July 5 while he was pinned to the ground. Sterling was black and the officers involved were white. Sterling’s funeral was Friday. Police have said they thought he was reaching for a gun.
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