East Baton Rouge DA releases details of last year’s ambush that left three officers dead
BATON ROUGE – East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore released details of the ambush attack last year that left three police officers dead and three more injured.
Gavin Long opened fire on officers from a position outside of the B-Quik convenience store in Baton Rouge on Sunday, July 17, 2016 in what has been described as a deliberate, lone gunman-style attack.
Shortly after 8:35 p.m., Corporal Montrell Jackson purchased a bottle of water, put air in his tires, and washed his Baton Rouge Police Department vehicle, which he then parked at the edge of the parking lot.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bradford Garafola was already at the store working a security detail, according to the EBRDA’s account.
In a strange twist, Baton Rouge Police Officer Matthew Gerald and Long arrived on the scene at the same time.
Gerald was stopped at the red light at Airline Highway and Hammond Aire when Long pulled up next to him in a rented white Chevrolet Malibu.
Gerald pulled his patrol unit into the parking lot of the B-Quik store and went inside to purchase two energy drinks, while Long watched before making an illegal u-turn on Old Hammond Highway.
Long parked his car next to the neighboring Hair Crown Beauty Supply, and got out carrying an Israel Weapon Industries Tavor semi-automatic rifle, according to the EBRDA.
Long approached Gerald’s parked police car, raising the rifle to his shoulder in an apparent effort to prepare to fire into the vehicle where the driver would have been sitting, but Gerald was still inside at the time.
Long then returned to his car and drove away down Carolyn Sue Drive.
A bystander ran inside to notify Gerald about a man carrying a rifle.
Jackson, Garafola, and Gerald began coordinating efforts to find Long.
Garafola returned to his vehicle to put on his ballistic vest, and Jackson joined him there.
Long had a clear view of the three officers as he drove away. He turned back toward the B-Quik, driving on the shoulder of Airline Highway against traffic for approximately 400 feet, according to the EBRDA account.
Long parked his Chevrolet Malibu behind a Fitness Expo building and ran quickly toward the trio of officers, passing several civilians on the way.
At 8:40 p.m., Gerald radioed in the location of the three officers, and almost immediately after, Long opened fire, fatally wounding Gerald and Jackson.
Garafola, who was out of Long’s line of sight at the time, took cover behind a dumpster and radioed in that shots had been fired and officers were down.
Long fired on other officers as they arrived, striking one in the head, before gunning down Garafola.
The assault would go on for several minutes before officers from the Baton Rouge Police Department’s Special Response Team were able to shoot him around 8:49 p.m. according to the EBRDA.