Three police officers are confirmed dead and three injured in a shooting on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway in the state capital of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The suspected gunman was killed, state police superintendent said.
The attack was a lone-wolf incident, Colonel Mike Edmondson, the Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police said at the press conference following the incident, according to Reuters. The active shooter situation declared in Baton Rouge on Sunday has come to an end, the gunman is dead, he added.
“We do not have an active shooter scenario in Baton Rouge,” Edmonson said.
Louisiana authorities will hold another press conference regarding the Baton Rouge shootings at 1pm CDT (1800 GMT) on Monday, Reuters reported.
According to earlier reports, police believed there could have been at least two more suspects on the loose.
Three officers out of five transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital have died from their injuries. Two others remain in hospital, with one being in fair condition and the other in a critical state, according to WAFB and Reuters. The condition of the third policeman transported to the hospital remains unknown.
The Baton Rouge police department reportedly used a robot to check the area for explosive devices.
“We do know, and do believe there are more than one suspect. That’s why we’re alerting the community. We sending in the robot to see if there are any explosives in the area or any explosives on him,” said Corporal L’Jean McKneely, WAFB reported.
Two of the officers killed were from the Baton Rouge police, and the third was an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputy, Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel said earlier, as cited by The Advocate.
The shooting took place at the B-Quik convenience store at a gas station, Baton Rouge police said, according to AP. The body of the suspect was found outside the store, at the door of a nearby fitness club. The city was on high alert following the incident.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said earlier that one gunman had been killed, and police believed two more shooters may have been at large.
WAFB said that the shootout began in the early hours of Sunday morning on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway in Baton Rouge, less than one mile from police headquarters.
Police reportedly have no clear picture on what started the shooting, but it seems there was a running gun fight in the area of the shopping center and convenience store. They were first notified of the incident at about 8:45 a.m. Sunday.
Baton Rouge police responded to a call reporting a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” a CNN source said, adding that the person opened fire as soon as the police squad arrived.
According to a witness, there were at least 25-30 gunshots heard before police arrived, WAFB reported. Police officers were probably not the initial target, another witness said.
“This was not a come at police shooting. There were men out here shooting at each other before police ever got here,” a witness said.
Our Lady of the Lake hospital was guarded by policemen armed with long guns wearing bulletproof vests, media report.
According to reports, two hospitals in Baton Rouge were on lockdown with police guards.
A black man was detained by Baton Rouge police at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Police saw that the man was carrying a gun. Officers searched his car but found nothing incriminating, according to social media reports. He was reportedly released after a woman identified as his mother explained that her son had come to hospital to see a doctor. He also had a license for the gun, she said.
There is still an active scene. They are investigating,” Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish told CNN when the operation was in progress. “Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything.”
“Everything is moving fast and I have not been able to verify everything,” he noted, adding that the gunman is believed to be down.
The immediate area has been cordoned off and closed to traffic, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said.