Baton Rouge sheriff claims shootings are not about gun control but about "what’s in men’s hearts"

Three police officers have been killed in Louisiana, and three others have been injured.

Baton Rouge, shootings, gun control,

Image: Max Becherer / AP/Press Association Images

Law enforcement officials and the Governor of Louisiana have held a joint press conference addressing the tragedy in Baton Rouge on Sunday.

They stressed that there is no active shooter in Baton Rouge at present, but have asked locals to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to their local police.

Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendant, opened by saying: “We want and need your prayers. Baton Rouge is in need of those prayers right now. So we thank you for them and we appreciate them.”

Stressing that any information that was not from official police channels should not be trusted, he stated that “there is not an active shooter scenario in Baton Rouge. We believe that the person who shot and killed our officers is the man that was shot and killed at the scene”.

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux added they were "grieving as a law enforcement community," in the wake of the shootings, and confirmed that there were three further officers receiving treatment, one of whom was in a critical condition and fighting for his life. 

“To me this is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s hearts,” added Gautreaux. "Until we come together as a nation, as a people to heal, as a people; if we don't do that and this madness continues, we sill surely perish as a people."

Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards said: “this is an ongoing investigation...every resource will be made available to bring these perpetrators, if there’s more than one, to justice."

He added: “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us” and that those responsible “don’t represent the values we stand for”.

President Obama echoed those sentiments in his address, saying that this has happened "far too often" during his term. 

"Five days ago I traveled to Dallas for the memorial service," added Obama "and said that killer would not be the last person to try to make us turn on each other, neither will today's. It remains up to us to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America and not our worst."

Obama added that “as of right now we don't know the motive of the killer. We don't know whether the killer set out to target police officers, or whether he gunned them down as they responded to a call. Attacks on police are attacks on all of us, and on the rule of law.”

“Our hearts go out to the families who are grieving. Our thoughts go out to the officer who is fighting for his life,” he added.

“It is up to all of us to make sure we are part of the solution and not part of the problem”.