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Several police officers shot in Baton Rouge, three dead

Baton Rouge Police with assault rifles block Airline Highway after police were shot in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 17, 2016. Authorities say multiple law enforcement officers have been killed and injured in a shooting in Baton Rouge Sunday. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Six police officers were shot early Sunday in Baton Rouge and three are dead.

Mayor Kip Holden spoke to various news outlets and said three of the officers shot are dead and several other officers are injured. In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Louisiana state police said two officers and one deputy were killed. One other deputy is in critical condition while the other two shot are stable.

Police said there is no active shooter scenario and the one suspect dead at the scene is the one responsible for shooting the officers.

According to law enforcement sources to the Associated Press, the shooter has been identified as Gavin Long.

The gunman who fatally shot three officers in Baton Rouge briefly attended the University of Alabama.

University spokesman Chris Bryant said Sunday evening that 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long, of Kansas City, Missouri, was a student for one semester in the spring of 2012.

Bryant says university police had no interaction with Long during that time.

The shooting took place less than one mile away from police headquarters and was described as an “ambush style” attack to NBC News.

A state police spokesman says two “persons of interests” who were detained earlier Sunday have been released.

Major Doug Cain said late Sunday that the individuals were questioned and released but that the investigation was still ongoing. He said no charges were filed against them. Cain said authorities are still looking to see if the man who opened fire on police in Baton Rouge had any help — “indirectly, directly here or at home.”

President Barack Obama made a statement regarding the attack.

“I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge. For the second time in two weeks, police officers who put their lives on the line for ours every day were doing their job when they were killed in a cowardly and reprehensible assault. These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.

“I’ve offered my full support, and the full support of the federal government, to Governor Edwards, Mayor Holden, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department. And make no mistake – justice will be done.

“We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None. 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.

“Today, on the Lord’s day, all of us stand united in prayer with the people of Baton Rouge, with the police officers who’ve been wounded, and with the grieving families of the fallen. May God bless them all.”

Police-community relations in Baton Rouge have been especially tense since the killing of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white officers earlier this month after a scuffle at a convenience store. The killing was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet.

The mother of Sterling’s son says she is heartbroken for the Baton Rouge officers who were gunned down and their families and is calling for peace.

In a statement issued Sunday evening Quinyetta McMillon says she is disgusted by the despicable act of violence that resulted in the officers’ deaths and that all she and her son Cameron want is peace.

Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets in Baton Rouge to condemn Sterling’s death, including hundreds of demonstrators who congregated outside the police station. Authorities arrested about 200 people over the three-day weekend.

A Louisiana state representative has identified one of the three officers killed Sunday and said he had a 4-month-old child. State Rep. Ted James Sunday gave the name of the dead officer as Montrell Jackson.

James said he knows Jackson and his family personally and spoke to the family earlier Sunday.

A person familiar with the investigation has identified the second slain Baton Rouge police officer as Matthew Gerald, 41.

A spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified the third officer killed during a shooting in Baton Rouge as sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola. Casey Rayborn Hicks told The Associated Press Sunday that the slain deputy was 45-years-old and had been with the sheriff’s office for 24 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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