Three cops were killed and least four more injured by gunmen targeting officers near police headquarters in Baton Rouge on Sunday morning, authorities said.
The shooting began shortly after 9 a.m. local time when a 911 call came in of a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” officials said.
When officers arrived, the fiends opened fire.
Cpl. L’Jean McNeely, of the Baton Rouge Police Department, told reporters that one of possibly three gunmen was dead after a final shoot-out at the Be Quick gas station.
“He is down,” he said at a press conference a block away, where helicopters hovered low in the sky. But “we’re still securing the area to make sure he has no explosives. We’re sending our robot in.”
Federal and state authorities, including the ATF, rushed to the scene.
McNeely said it’s believed the gunman did not act alone.
“We do believe there is more than one suspect,” he said.
Authorities are urging the public to call in tips of “anyone wearing all black, wearing army fatigues, if they see anyone carrying long guns or cars parked in odd areas” McNeely said.
Those dead included two Baton Rouge police officers and one East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy, according to WBRZ.
Mayor Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish, said authorities are still trying to get a handle on the situation.
“It’s an active scene,” he said. “Everything is moving fast, and I have not been able to verify everything.”
In a statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said the ambush was “an unspeakable and unjustified attack.”
“Rest assured,” he said. “every resource available to the State of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
Bystander Marquis Gibson was at the Hammond Aire Plaza mall when he heard shots and ran inside for cover.
“Officers were falling down and hiding,” he told NBC News.
Resident Mark Clement told the Times-Picayune he heard roughly 10 to 12 gunshots.
It’s the second time in a week that cops have been targeted and shot dead.
Five officers in Dallas were murdered and nine others injured in an attack during what was to have been a peaceful protest over the recent deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
Baton Rouge has been roiled by protests since white officers shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man selling DVDs on a street corner, on July 5.
Four people were arrested in the city last week in an alleged plot to kill police officers.