Three officers are dead and three more are injured in an ambush on the officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday. It is the latest in an escalating string of violence in the United States, and follows an attack in Dallas that took the lives of five police officers.
The Huffington Post reports that the Baton Rouge attack was carried out by Gavin Eugene Long, of Kansas City, Missouri. Long was reportedly angry about the death of Alton Sterling, who was killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge on July 5.
According to NPR the ambush began at around 8:40 am, when police received reports of a man armed with a rifle. Two officers who approached the suspect were shot and other officers who arrived on the scene returned fire. When the shooting stopped, three police officers where dead and three were injured, one critically. The shooter was reportedly also killed at the scene.
Long, identified as the sole shooter, was reportedly a former marine who was honorably discharged but spoke out online about police shootings of black men. During his five years in the Marines, Long trained as a data network specialist and served as a communications specialist in Iraq for around eight months.
This is the latest in a string of high-profile shootings in July. The violence started on with Alton Sterling’s death followed a day later by the death of Philando Castile in Minnesota. Castile, a black man, was shot by police officers during a traffic stop. Then on July 7, a gunman opened fire on a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, killing five police officers and wounding seven more.
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, vowed to make changes to the U.S. criminal justice system.
In a speech to the NAACP annual conference, Clinton said, “Many African-Americans fear the police. I can hear you. Some of you are in this room. And today, there are people all across America sick over what happened in Baton Rouge and in Dallas but also fearful that the murders of police officers means that vital questions about police-community relations will go unanswered. Now that is a reasonable fear, isn’t it?” (transcribed in Fortune).
Donald Trump was invited to speak to the NAACP but declined, Fortune reports.
President Barack Obama issued a statement on the attack in Baton Rouge, condemning Long’s actions.
“These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes. The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas—they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now—all of us—to be at our best.”