April 27 (UPI) — A gunman opened fire on police in Louisiana on Sunday, killing one officer and critically injuring another before igniting an hours-long standoff with police that ended with him surrendering following negotiations with SWAT team members, authorities said.
Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul said the officers were responding to a tip that Ronnie Kato, a suspect in an earlier homicide case, was at a Baton Rouge residence Sunday morning when they were fired upon.
Paul said two officers were struck by gunfire — a 21-year veteran of the force who was killed during the shooting and a seven-year veteran who was “fighting for his life” at a local hospital.
“Our officers, we talk about being public servants and the responsibility that goes on with being a law enforcement officer, and this is the call no chief wants to get, no police officer wants to hear — an officer dying,” he told reporters during a press conference. “But not only were these police officers public servants: they’re fathers, husbands, loved by their family.”
Kato, 36, was taken into police custody “without incident” following a four-hour standoff with police during which both sides exchanged gunfire, Paul said, adding, Kato surrendered following negotiations with SWAT members of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome described Sunday as “a tragic day” for her city.
“As we mourn this tragedy, let us reinforce that violence in our community, and particularly violence against law enforcement, is unacceptable,” she said in a statement. “During this stressful time, both in our community and across the globe, it is imperative that we join together now more than ever.”