Police responded Sunday (July 17) to a shooting in Baton Rouge, La., that left at least two officers and one sheriff's deputy dead and seven others wounded, said Kip Holden, mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish. Holden said reports of an active shooter came in approximately 9 a.m. East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III said one gunman was shot dead, but that two other suspects may be at large.
Protests have been held along Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, which also runs in front of the local police headquarters, since the police shooting of Alton Sterling on July 5. At about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the road was closed in both directions, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported.
"At this point in time the scene is still active," Gautreaux told the Post-Crescent. "We are advising the public to take an alternate route and steer clear of the area. Those in the area are asked to remain indoors and contact law enforcement immediately if they see anything suspicious."
The three officers were shot near the police department headquarters, Holden told MSNBC. "They are investigating," he said. "Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything."
A local broadcaster, WAFB, broadcast video of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, where wounded officers had been transported, on lockdown. Kelly Zimmerman of Our Lady of the Lake said that the hospital received five patients. Three were dead, one is in critical condition and the other is in fair condition, Zimmerman said.
A witness told WBRZ-TV that a man, who 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 then closed the streets between the police department's headquarters and Interstate 12.
"Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a tweet that called the attack unspeakable and unjustified.
Bel Edwards then posted he was praying for the officers, their families, the entire BRPD, and the city. "Please bring these killers to justice."
Corporal L'Jean Mckneely Jr., spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department, said officers secured the area around the suspect and sent a robot device in after the shooting, reports USA Today, "making sure there aren't any explosives in the area."
"We're taking every precaution necessary to make sure that all our lives are safe."
Officers responding initially to a call did exchange gunfire with the suspect, who has not been identified, Mckneely said.
"There was no talking. There was shooting," he said.