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Three police officers killed, three injured in Baton Rouge shooting

Three members of law enforcement were killed and three were wounded following a shootout at a gas station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday morning.

The suspected shooter is also dead, officials said.

Calling the attack “absolutely unspeakable” and “heinous” in an afternoon press conference, Gov. John Bel Edwards said one of the injured officers was “fighting for his life.”

The shooting took place at a B-Quick convenience store located about a mile from police headquarters, according to Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

Louisiana State Police Col. Michael D. Edmonson said officers initially responded to the scene following a call before 9 a.m. to central dispatch about a man wearing all black and carrying a rifle. The shootout is believed to have taken place a short time later.

“We believe that the person who shot and killed our officers was the person that was shot and killed at the scene,” Edmonson said.

While officials said there was a lone shooter, a police spokesman told the Associated Press that two “persons of interest” were also detained in connection with the firefight.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Penney - RTSIFFE

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., July 17, 2016. Photo by Joe Penney/Reuters

In a statement released by the White House, President Barack Obama said while the motive for the attack was unknown, “there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.”

“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,” he said. “These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.”

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement there is “no place in the United States for such appalling violence.”

She said agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting in the investigation.

Sunday’s shootout occurred amid heightened tensions between police and community members in the Louisiana capital following the shooting death of Alton Sterling by law enforcement.

Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who had been selling CDs outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, was shot and killed by police on July 5.

The circumstances of the shooting, which was partially caught on a video and spurred widespread outrage on social media, is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department. The two officers involved in that incident are now on administrative leave.

Four people, including a 12-year-old boy, were arrested this week in Baton Rouge for their role in what officials called a plot to shoot police officers.

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