Three police officers were shot dead and seven others wounded in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, said Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish.
In a statement, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office said the shooting unfolded at about 9 a.m. Sunday in the vicinity of the Hammond Aire Plaza on Airline Highway. Officers responded to the scene from both the Sheriff’s Office and the Baton Rouge Police Department.
“Multiple officers from both agencies sustained injuries and were transported to local hospitals,” the statement said.
The shootings came after a month of violence and extraordinary tension, as the Republicans gathered in Cleveland for their presidential convention. Five police officers were killed in Dallas on July 7 as protests erupted around the country following the deaths of two African-American men at the hands of police officers in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis.
Mark Clements, who lives near the shopping center, said he was in his backyard when he heard shots ring out.
“I heard probably 10 to 12 gunshots go off,” he said in a telephone interview. “We heard a bunch of sirens and choppers and everything since then.”
In a statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana called the shooting “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.”
Protests have been held along Airline Highway, which also runs in front of police headquarters, since the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on July 5. At about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the road was closed in both directions, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported.
Images and video posted to social media showed a large presence of police vehicles along the road.
A local broadcaster, WAFB, broadcast video of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, where wounded officers had been transported, on lockdown.