WASHINGTON • Multiple police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were shot by an unidentified gunman yesterday morning, leaving at least two dead, a department spokesman said, as the country remains on edge about police and community relations.
“Several officers were struck by gunfire,” Baton Rouge police spokesman Don Coppola told local television station WAFB.
Two of the officers have died, Baton Rouge’s chief administrative officer told The Advocate newspaper.
CNN reported a local source as saying at least seven officers were shot and three are feared dead.
Some of the others were reported to be in critical condition, the station said.
The shooting appeared to be carried out by a lone gunman carrying an assault rifle, local media reported.
The officers were taken to a local hospital, Sergeant Coppola told the local CBS affiliate, adding that he did not know the extent of their injuries.
While the scene of the shooting was contained, police had still not taken the shooter into custody as of press time and warned local residents to stay away from the scene, near Airline Highway.
“There is still an active scene,” said Mr Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish.
“They are investigating. Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything,” said Mr Holden.
The reports come a week after a wave of protests against police violence in Baton Rouge and other cities after a 37-year-old father of five was shot and killed at close quarters by law enforcement officers.
At one of the demonstrations in Dallas, a gunman opened fire on white officers assigned to the protest, killing five of them.
Telephone video footage carried on a local news station showed police cars arriving at a suburban intersection, and then five shots rang out.
A WFAB reporter at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Centre, where the injured officers were taken, said the flag outside was at half mast.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE