The gunman has been identifid as Gavin Long, a military veteran. Long traded shots with police before being killed. Three other officers were ruined.
According to records released by the Marine Corps, Long enlisted in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., in 2005 and served as a data network specialist, having completed two deployments to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. He left the Marines in 2010 at the rank of sergeant.
While state officials believed that others might be involved in the attack, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, Col. Michael D. Edmonson confirmed at a news conference it was the act of a lone gunman. Col. Edmonson added that police received a call early Sunday of a person “… carrying a weapon” in the area of the Hammond Aire Plaza shopping center on Airline Highway. The plaza is filled car dealerships, chain stores and carwashes.
“I was about to pull in at about 8:45, and we got caught in the crossfire,” Avery Hall, who works at a nearby carwash, told the New York Times. “I heard a lot of gunshots — a lot. I saw police ducking and shooting. I stopped and pulled into the Dodge dealership. I got out and heard more gunshots. We ducked.”
Police believe Long, who was wearing body armor during his attack, had been in Baton Rouge for six days and knew that cops often frequented the gas station and car wash where the shooting unfolded, sources said. One of the officers shot was vacuuming his car at the time.
At around 8:48 a.m., officers fired at the suspect, killing him according to Colonel Edmonson.
The three slain officers have been identified as Montrell Jackson, a black, 32-year-old father of a 4-month-old son who had worked on the force for a decade and Matthew Gerald, a white, 41-year-old officer who had been with the department for less than a year. East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola, 45, was also killed. The father of four had been with the sheriff's office for 24 years.
Just three days after the death of Sterling, a 37-year-old black man killed by white Baton Rouge officers after a scuffle at a convenience store, Jackson posted a message on Facebook which said he was physically and emotionally tired and complained that while in uniform, he gets nasty looks and when he's out of uniform, he said, some people consider him a threat.
The shooting comes amid racial tension and protest across the country with the recent shootings in other cities such as Minnesota and Dallas. President Obama addressed the nation Sunday afternoon after hearing of the killings. “Attacks on police are an attack on all of us, and on the rule of law that makes society possible,” he said.