Three police officers are dead and three others have been wounded after a shooting in Baton Rouge, La., The Associated Press reports, the same city where an officer shot and killed Alton Sterling during a traffic stop earlier this month.

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One of the wounded officers is reportedly in critical condition.

The shooting began shortly after 9 a.m.,  when someone called 911 to report a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” officials said. When police arrived, the shooting began. 

One suspect is dead, with possibly two others at large, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks told the AP. 

Police used a robot to check for explosives around the body of the suspect who was shot and killed, the New York Post reported

President Obama was briefed on the shooting, according to a White House official, and will continue to receive updates throughout the day. The White House has been in touch with local officials and offered any necessary assistance. 

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Obama said: "I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge. ... These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.

"We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.  None. These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes."

Mayor Kip Holden said on Fox News that he had received a phone call from the president and had been promised whatever resources were needed to "get to the bottom of what's going on." 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) called the attack "unspeakable" and "unjustified" in a tweet early Sunday afternoon.

He said "every resource" would be used to ensure the "perpetrators" are brought to justice swiftly.

 

 

Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson was also briefed on the shooting Sunday, according to ABC News, and has directed the "full weight of the Department's resources" to assist. 

 

 

The shooting follows spiraling tensions across Baton Rouge and the U.S. between black communities and the police. 

Baton Rouge has been on edge following the officer-involved death of Sterling, a black man who was shot several times while being held on the ground by police outside a convenience store. The officer-involved shooting of another black man, Philando Castile, in Minnesota that same week continued to stoke tension between those protesting police brutality and law enforcement. 

Those incidents spurred protests across the country, including one in Dallas where five police officers were shot and killed on July 7. 

Sunday’s shooting happened less than one mile from police headquarters. The injured officers were from the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Holden told the Times-Picayune, and were Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Updated at 2:49 p.m.