Three law enforcement officers were fatally shot and three others were wounded Sunday morning as a gunman opened fire near a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Two of the officers have been identified by multiple media outlets and friends and family on social media as Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41, both of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Also among the slain: Brad Garafola, a 45-year-old deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
As of Sunday, injured officers included Nicholas Tullier, 41-year-old sheriff’s deputy reportedly in critical condition. Bruce Simmons, 51-year-old deputy, and a 41-year-old Baton Rouge police officer received care for non-life-threatening injuries.
Montrell Jackson, 32, ‘made us feel safe’
A cousin and family friend told the Advocate Sunday that Montrell Jackson, 32, was among the officers killed. Last month, Jackson celebrated his 10th anniversary with the Baton Rouge Police Department, according to city records.
Two weeks ago, as Baton Rouge roiled following the death of Alton Sterling and after five officers were shot dead in Dallas, Jackson published an emotional note to Facebook. In it, he lamented the difficulties of being black and a police officer.
“I’m tired physically and emotionally,” Jackson wrote. “I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me.”
He continued: “These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better.
“I’m working these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you.”
Source: USA Today | Seth Dickerson and Josh Hafner