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Three Police Officers Shot Dead In United States

Three police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are believed to have been lured to their deaths.

The three officers, two from the city’s police department and one from the sheriff’s office, were ambushed while responding to reports of gunfire on Sunday morning.

Two of the officers have been named as Montrell Jackson, a 32-year-old who was married and had a four-month-old son, and Matthew Gerald, a 41-year-old father of two.

Mr Jackson, a 10-year veteran of the force, described as a “gentle giant”, had written on his Facebook page a few days before he was shot that he was “physically and emotionally” tired and that it was difficult to be a police officer and a black man.

He said that, out of uniform, he was sometimes considered a threat but that, when in uniform, he often received nasty looks, adding: “I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me.”

Mr Gerald was a married father of two daughters and joined the force just months ago after serving in the Marines and as a Blackhawk crew chief in the Army.

He served three tours of Iraq and was described by an ex-colleague as someone who was “made to serve the people”.

Mr Gerald and his wife Dechia celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary just two weeks ago.

The third victim was father-of-four Brad Garafola, 45, a Sheriff’s Deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office who had worked there for 24 years.

Three other police officers were shot and injured – 41-year-old Nicholas Tullier, an 18-year veteran of the force, is in critical condition while Bruce Simmons, 51, has non-life-threatening injuries. The third officer, a 49-year-old also with non-life-threatening injuries, has not yet been named.

The gunman has been named in US media reports as Gavin Eugene Long, a 29-year-old African-American from Kansas City.

Initially it was thought there were two more suspects at large but Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said: “There is not an active shooter scenario in Baton Rouge.

“We do believe the person that shot and killed our officers, that he is the person who was shot and killed at the scene.”

Obama Calls For Unity After Officers Shot

According to a source quoted by Reuters, there is “reason to believe” that a 911 call was used to lure police to the scene of the shooting.

Two “persons of interest” were detained in the town of Addis, near Baton Rouge, but they were released without charge.

Police chiefs have called on residents to unite in the face of the violence.

President Barack Obama said the shooting underscored the danger law enforcement officials faced but that the killer “will not be the last to make us try to turn on each other”.

Baton Rouge hit the headlines earlier this month after a black man was shot dead by officers.

The father-of-five who died, Alton Sterling, was laid to rest at a three-hour service in Baton Rouge on Friday.

On 5 July, Philando Castile died after being shot in his car during a traffic stop by an officer near Minneapolis, with his girlfriend filming the aftermath and broadcasting it live on Facebook.

Their deaths were followed by nationwide protests, one of which saw a gunman opening fire and killing five white police officers in Dallas.

Following the shooting in Louisiana, the head of the Cleveland Police Union has called on the governor of Ohio to declare a state of emergency and suspend laws allowing people to openly carry firearms during the Republican convention.

On Facebook, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wrote: “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said there was “no justification for violence” against officers.

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