A man wanted for murder allegedly opened fire on police killing one officer and wounding a second. The wounded officer is listed as critically injured from wounds sustained during the shooting on Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Baton Rouge police officers responded to a call in the 1800 block of Pamela Drive at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday regarding the whereabouts of a suspected killer. The suspect, 36-year-old Ronnie Kato, fled the scene before they arrived, according to KY3.
Police say Kato allegedly killed 58-year-old Curtis Richardson at the location and a source familiar with the case said the men were connected through one of Richardson’s relatives.
The report continued:
The two officers received a tip that Kato was hiding at a home in the 3150 block of Conrad Street, in the area of Winbourne Avenue and North Foster. While they were checking the scene just after 12:30 p.m., Kato fired upon them.
He barricaded himself in the home as more officers surrounded the scene. Around 4 p.m., an eruption of gunfire and screams rang out from near the house. It was followed by three or four more gunshots.
After a four hour standoff and negotiations with SWAT members, the alleged gunman surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.
“He will be charged with first-degree murder for Richardson’s death. Charges for shooting the officers are still pending,” the report noted.
The officer who died was a 21-year veteran of the department. The wounded officer is said to be a seven-year veteran who is “fighting for his life” at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center, Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul said.
“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,” the chief commented during a press conference.
“But not only were these police officers public servants: they’re fathers, husbands, loved by their family,” he continued.
Following the shooting, the hospital shared a photo of policemen as they saluted the deceased officer:
Peace&Prayer. Godspeed to one of Baton Rouge’s finest.
— Our Lady of the Lake (@ololhealth) April 27, 2020
In a statement, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said it was a “tragic day” for the city.
“As we mourn this tragedy, let us reinforce that violence in our community, and particularly violence against law enforcement, is unacceptable,” Broome commented.
“During this stressful time, both in our community and across the globe, it is imperative that we join together now more than ever,” she concluded.
The deceased officer is the 54th in the U.S. to be killed in the line of duty this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. His is the 17th gunfire-related death of a police officer this year.