DA releases findings in law enforcement ambush shooting

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - District Attorney Hillar Moore III released the findings Friday for the year-long investigation into the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers who were ambushed on July 17, 2016.

All officer-involved shootings are investigated by the District Attorney's Office to determine whether it was necessary to shoot the gunman.

"There was no doubt here regarding their justifications," Moore said. "These officers went into a very dangerous and unknown situation and saved lives."

"This horrific event, which took days to collect and months to review, only took thirteen minutes and fifty-five seconds to conclude," Moore added.

The three officers who were killed were all at the store when the shooter, Gavin Long, arrived.

Deputy Lt. Brad Garafola with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office was working an extra duty detail at the store.

Cpl. Montrell Jackson with the Baton Rouge Police Department was at the car wash next door. He had just finished washing his vehicle when Long arrived.

Officer Matthew Gerald of the Baton Rouge Police Department stopped at the store to purchase a drink.

Once shots were fired, deputies and officers responded to the scene.

EBRSO Deputy Nick Tullier was critically wounded and is still recovering at a Houston hospital.

EBRSO Sgt. Bruce Simmons was wounded and is still dealing with rehabilitation.

BRPD Cpl. Chad Montgomery has recovered from his injury.

Officers with the Special Response Team moved in after Deputy Tullier and Sgt. Simmons were wounded. They managed to shoot Long in the leg, causing him to fall to the ground. He was shot again and was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

During the press conference, Moore presented much of the material that was gathered during the investigation, including surveillance footage that captured the entire incident. The presentation lasted more than an hour.

"Although these killings were clearly viewed, I've removed those images from public view," Moore noted.

The footage starts from the motel where Long stayed while he was in Baton Rouge. During checkout, he asked the clerk to make copies of a three-page letter that Moore says was a suicide note.

"When you read the three-page letter, you certainly understand his motive. You understand that he was ready to die. It was his birthday."

A copy of the report is available here. It includes details of the shooting, listing of evidence, the 911 call from the manager from Benny's, toxicology, autopsy, and crime lab reports, as well as remarks from both BRPD and EBRSO.

Friday night, Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome released a statement in response to the DA's findings. Her statements reads:

I commend District Attorney Hillar Moore and his office for conducting a thorough investigation. The information and footage released today allowed the world see the true courage of all of these officers as they acted without hesitation to protect each other and those in their community. As I've said before, their watch has ended, but not their impact on the community that they served. I continue to keep their families in my prayers and ask that my fellow citizens do the same.

The full letter can be found below:

Moore's office also released several videos of the incident. Watch below:

D.A. Hillar Moore's press conference:

Narrated visual overview:

Cpl. Montgomery dash cam video:

Surveillance video:

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