By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Sunday, July 17 a peaceful Sunday morning in the south was violently disrupted when heavily armed militants ambushed the Baton Rouge police department. Three officers and a militant were killed in the ensuing gun battle. Three other officers were wounded in the fighting. People across Alabama mourned the loss of the law enforcement officers along with the people of Louisiana.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said, “As I watch the news out of Baton Rouge, my heart goes out to the families of the police officers killed today. We must stand united, not divided, and support law enforcement who put their lives on the line for our safety every day.”
U.S. Representative Terri Sewell said on Twitter, “Our prayers and condolences for the families and loved ones of the police officers shot in #BatonRouge.”
Former Attorney General Troy King (R) said in a statement, “Enough is enough. It’s another grievous day for America. The attacks on law enforcement are attacks on all of us. They cannot be tolerated. Where is the voice of calm and determination from to reassure our people and our police that we will not stand for airing our grievances with blood and violence?”
Former AG King said, “Fall on your knees alongside me and pray for our nation to be spared the future we seem headed towards.”
Alabama Minority GOP Chairman Phillip Brown said, “Lawlessness can never be justified regardless of who does it.”
WVTM Channel 13’s Sarah Killian said, “For the second time in less than two weeks, we’re faced with the news that multiple police officers have been killed in the line of duty. I’m at a loss for words. This news doesn’t seem real. Please pray for the families of the police officers who were killed, the Baton Rouge Police Department and the entire city of Baton Rouge.
Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with our law enforcement community after today’s horrible shootings. All lives matter, plain and simple.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) said, “This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing. Rest assured, every resource available to the State of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. For now, I’m asking all Louisianans to join Donna and me in praying for the officers who were involved and their families as the details continue to unfold.”
Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump said, “We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today. How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R from Wisconsin) said in a statement, “I am deeply disturbed by today’s shooting in Baton Rouge. We will not tolerate brutal violence against law enforcement—the people who dedicate their lives to protecting Americans. Our nation grieves with Louisiana today. My prayers are with the fallen officers and their families.”
The shooter has been identified as: Gavin Eugene Long, 29. Long was a native of Kansas City, Missouri and attended the University of Alabama where he made the Dean’s List. He has also been identified as a member of the Nation of Islam. Long was an Iraq war veteran and former Marine Corps Sergeant. He is affiliated with the, Sovereign Citizen movement, which the FBI says is a, “Growing threat to law enforcement.” According to the Alabama based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) other Sovereign Citizens have been responsible for seven law enforcement deaths prior to this incident. He was wearing a mask and body armor when he ambushed the officers.
(Original reporting by CBS News, the Alabama Media Group, and Fox News contributed to this report.)