Three police officers were killed in a gunfight in Baton Rouge on Sunday. According to witnesses, it was not an attack on the cops; the shootout started earlier.

On Sunday morning, the police department of Baton Rouge received emergency calls reporting problems on the Airline Highway. Accordingly, the central dispatched a number of patrols, and the officers arrived the scene around 9:00 A.M. Once there, a group of criminals received the law enforcers with gun fire, and the area surrounding the Quick B store became a war zone until 10:00 A.M. when the situation was contained.

Baton Rouge Police block a road after police were shot in Baton Rouge. Credit: Boston Globe

Sargent Don Coppola from the Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed a CBS local affiliate three police officers and one of the three suspects were killed during the incident. He also confirmed that the suspects managed to injure many other officers, but he did not have the specific numbers at the moment. However, he did not talk about what cause the incident nor gave the identity of the casualties.

“I do not have the extent of the injuries,” Sgt. Coppola told the local press. “We’re hearing that it may also include some deputies [with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office], but that’s preliminary information and I’m waiting on confirmation.”

The event might not be related to the racial conflicts that are shaking the country since July 5

On July 5, two white police officers pinned down a black man called Alton Sterling in front of a Triple S store in Louisiana and then shot him multiple times in the chest. The incident was caught on video, and it caused an uproar among the African American community in the country.

As a result, many members of the black community have started attacking police officers in different cities of the country. The events reached their peak when an African American sniper shot dead five white police officers in Texas. Sterling’s death started a series of violent riots highlighting the fact that the racial problem in the United States is still a serious issue

When the reports about cops being shot in Baton Rouge started flooding the news, everybody assumed it had to be the result of the racial tension. However, a witness told the local press Sunday’s incident at the Airline Highway was an isolated event. According to WAFB, a CBS affiliate station, a witness told the reporters that the shootout started before the police officers arrived the scene. The witness said to have heard at least 30 gunshots before the authorities intervened.

“This was not a come at police shooting,” the witness said. “There were men out here shooting at each other before police ever got here.”

The lack of details makes the incident a complete mystery. No one seems to know why these men were shooting at each other, and the police officers have not said if the gunmen were all black, so it would be too soon to jump to conclusions that can worsen the very delicate situation the country is going through.

Source: WAFB