UPDATE 5:30 p.m. ET: The Associated Press reports that the shooter has been identified as Gavin Long.
President Obama addressed the shootings in a live statement from the White House, saying, "Attacks on police are an attack on all of us and the rule of law that makes society possible.
"Everyone right now focus on words and actions that can unite this country," he continued. "We need to temper our words, and open our hearts.
"It is up to all of us to make sure we are part of the solution, and not part of the problem … Only we can prove, in our own actions and words, that we will not be divided, even if we have to do it again and again and again."
UPDATE 4:20 p.m. ET: Colonel Mike Edmondson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, told reporters in a press conference that there is no longer "an active shooter scenario." "We believe the person who shot and killed our officers was the person shot at the scene," he said. Edmondson added that one officer just got out of surgery and is in critical condition, two additional officers are stable with non-life-threatening wounds.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux listed the ages of the injured and fallen officers, who range in age from 32 to 51. "This is not so much about gun control as it is about what is in men's hearts," he said. "We have to come together as a nation to heal, as a people. If we don't do that and this madness continues, we will surely perish as a people."
According to The Advocate, two men picked up from across the river from the scene of the shooting, in Addis, Louisiana, are being questioned as "persons of interest." President Barack Obama released a statement condemning the attacks Sunday, July 17, calling the them "the work of cowards who speak for no one."
"I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge," the statement reads. "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. … 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. May God bless them all."
ORIGINAL STORY: Three police officers are dead and more injured after a gunman opened fire at a shopping center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sunday, July 17, the Baton Rouge mayor’s office confirmed.
“This is still an active scene,” Kip Holden, mayor of East Baton Rouge Parish, told CNN. “They are investigating. Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything. It’s just been one thing after another.”
A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department told reporters at about 12:30 p.m. ET that they believe there were multiple suspects involved and one suspect is deceased after "officers engaged with the suspect.” Police have sent in a robot to make sure there are no explosives in the area.
CNN reports that Our Lady of the Lake Hospital received five patients, three of whom died, one in critical condition, one in fair condition.
Sunday’s shootings come less than two weeks after the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father who was killed outside a store where he was selling homemade CDs and DVDs.
Sterling’s death was captured on video, and the clip was widely circulated online, leading to an outcry from the Baton Rouge community and celebrities alike. In it, Sterling can be seen being tackled to the ground by two officers and later held down by one officer as the other shoots him “four to six” times, killing him instantly.
The following day, 32-year-old Philando Castile was pulled over for a regular traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, when he was shot and killed in the car while his girlfriend caught the tragedy on camera. Their young daughter sat in the backseat.
Sterling's and Castile’s deaths were followed by a shooting in Dallas that left five police officers dead and seven officers and two civilians wounded on Thursday, July 7.
More updates to come.
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