BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Several officers have been shot in Baton Rouge Sunday morning while on duty less than a mile from police headquarters, police said.
The shooting happened early just before 9 a.m., less than 1 mile from police headquarters.
Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola, speaking on local television station WAFB, did not know the extent of the injuries or give the precise number of officers injured. He said they were rushed to a local hospital. Coppola said authorities are asking people to stay away from the area.
He said that authorities believe the “scene is contained,” meaning that a shooter was unlikely on the loose.
An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw police vehicles with lights flashing massed about a half mile from the police headquarters on Airline Highway. Police armed with long guns on the road stopped at least two vehicles driving away from the scene and checked their trunks and vehicles before allowing them to drive away.
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.
It was followed a day later by the shooting death of another black man in Minnesota, whose girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath of his death on Facebook. Then on Thursday, a black gunman in Dallas opened fire on police at a protest about the police shootings, killing five officers and heightening tensions even further.
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.