(CNN) – Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Monday that the attack that killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others showed why militarized police tactics are needed.
In the last two weeks, police have been ambushed by skilled gunmen in Dallas and Baton Rouge and have taken multiple casualties.
On Sunday, the Baton Rouge SWAT team’s training kicked in and the team performed flawlessly in responding to an ambush on officers, an emotional Dabadie said in the Louisiana city.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said he was “convinced” that if the SWAT team had not arrived when it did, the two wounded deputies would be dead and the gunman would have escaped to attack more officers.
A SWAT team rifleman took out the gunman from more than 100 yards without a clear line of sight, Dabadie said.
“That shot our SWAT team made was a helluva shot,” Dabadie said. “We’ve been questioned for the last (two) weeks about our militarized tactics and our militarized law enforcement. This is why. We are up against a force that is not playing by the rules. They didn’t play by the rules in Dallas and they didn’t play by the rules here.”
“This guy was going to another location. He was not going to stop here,” Dabadie told reporters. “He was going to take more lives.”
Col. Michael D. Edmonson, superintendent of Louisiana State Police, said the gunman, Gavin Long, a former Marine from Kansas City, Missouri, was skilled in his handling of the assault rifle and moved skillfully to repeatedly ambush officers. Surveillance video captured the calculated attack and showed a scene that was “chilling in the sheer brutality,” Edmonson said.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that these officers were targeted and assassinated,” he said.
Long appears to have been in Baton Rouge several days planning his attack, and investigators are now tracking his movements before the 8:40 a.m. Sunday ambush to determine with whom he had contact and who may have known about his plans, Edmonson said.
“We want to know what brought him here, what kept him here” and why he killed police, the superintendent said.
The attack took place near a convenience store favored by officers because it was near police headquarters.
Long used a IWI Tavor SAR 5.56 rifle with a strap on it to keep the rifle in place as he engaged the officers, helping him maintain accuracy. He also was armed with a 9mm pistol and a Stag Arms M4 variant 5.56 rifle. The rifle was staged inside his Chevrolet Malibu rental car so he could get to it during the shooting, Edmonson said.
“He was extremely accurate,” Edmonson said.
See more at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/18/us/baton-rouge-police-shooting/index.html