LYNN NEARY, HOST:
The East Baton Rouge sheriff's office says three police officers were killed in a shooting today, three others injured. One suspect is dead. We're joined now by Steve Hardy of The Advocate newspaper. He's near the scene of the shooting in Baton Rouge. Steve, are there any new details on casualties?
STEVE HARDY: It sounds like, as you reported, yes, there is one deputy with the sheriff's office and two police officers who have been confirmed dead. And we spoke to a police corporal earlier. He indicated that another officer is wounded. We're still trying to find out his condition. And there was one suspect who was fatally shot. Two others are at large.
NEARY: What do we know about these suspects - any indication of why they shot at police in the first place, how this began?
HARDY: Police have been very hesitant to talk about what led up to the shooting. Initially, we were concerned because it happened near their police headquarters where demonstrations have been happening for the past two weeks in the wake of the Alton Sterling shooting. However, we just found out that this actually happened at a convenience store nearby, both inside and outside.
NEARY: So there's no indication of motivation at this point, nor any indication that it was in any way involved with a protest?
HARDY: I asked the corporal - was this a robbery? Was this an ambush? And he said he wasn't prepared to answer those types of questions yet.
NEARY: It's too early.
NEARY: Is this an active scene at the moment? I mean, what does it look like?
HARDY: It is an active scene? Many roads in Baton Rouge are closed right now. There's an enormous police presence, both locally and all the way up to the feds. There are helicopters circling overhead as we speak. And the mayor has asked all the residents of the area to kind of shelter in place and keep an eye out for any suspicious possible suspects.
NEARY: Yeah. What are the concerns there? I know that people have been told to stay in their homes. This - people must be very worried about the fact that there could be two people at large - two suspects at large.
HARDY: Certainly. And we don't know how they're armed. I do know that the police department is investigating whether there are any explosives still at the scene. I'm not sure if that's in response to a specific threat or more of a precaution. But it sounded like they were preparing or have sent in a robot to check for any explosive devices as well.
NEARY: Steve, this has been an extremely tough period for Baton Rouge. People must be really shaken up by what's going on.
HARDY: Yeah. Whether this ends up being related to the recent protests against police or not, it's certainly a very tense situation right now with these two people still being actively sought by law enforcement.
NEARY: Now, we understand the governor is supposed to speak. Is that right?
HARDY: That is certainly very possible. He lives here in Baton Rouge, just like the rest of us. And he's been very present in the community these past couple weeks.
NEARY: So Steve, if you can just recap for us before we leave in terms of what we know.
HARDY: What we know now is that at approximately 9 a.m. Central time, a shootout happened between officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. And now three law enforcement officers are dead, as is one suspect. Two more have fled. We're awaiting more information about who they are or where they might be hiding.
NEARY: Steve Hardy is a reporter with The Advocate. Thanks so much, Steve.
HARDY: Sure thing. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.