Three police officers have been killed and three are left injured after a shooting in the US town of Baton Rouge overnight, at around 9am US time (UTC). 

Police received a call about a ‘suspicious man’ holding an assault rifle and walking down a highway in the Louisiana town, and responded to the call. When officers arrived on the scene, shooting began immediately. 

The police originally believed that there was multiple shooters, and asked residents to let them know if they saw a man ‘wearing black army fatigues or all black, or wearing a mask’. 

“If they are wearing army fatigues; if they are wearing all black; if they are wearing a mask; if they are wearing anything that’s out there, please, give us a call,” said Baton Rouge Police Corporal L.J. McKneely.

Police have since confirmed that there is only one shooter, and have confirmed that the man was killed by officers on the scene. 

President Barack Obama has already commented on the shooting, calling for peace in a time of unrest and pain:

“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. 

These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop. …These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”

Louisana Governor John Bel Edwards has also made a statement on the attack:

There is no confirmation whether this incident is connected to the killing of black man Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge earlier this month

One witness to the shooting, Brady Vancel, said he saw what he believed to be ‘gang members shooting at each other’, before telling the news, “This has nothing to do with any situation” – referring to Sterling‘s death and the consequent tension that has resided in the town since. 

We will update this story as more information arises. 

Source: ABC / CNN

Photo: Sean Gardner / Getty.