Matthew Gerald was 41

By Christine Pelisek
Updated July 17, 2016 09:15 PM
Source: WAFB/Twitter

One of the three officers slain Sunday morning has been identified as a rookie police officer who just graduated from the police academy in March.

According to CNN, The Washington Post and USA Today, Matthew Gerald, 41, of Denham Springs was killed during the shooting spree that also left three officers injured, one of them in critical condition.

Gerald, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, was a Marine and former Black Hawk crew chief in the US Army. He was married with two children.

Also identified as a victim was 32-year-old Baton Rouge Police Department Officer Montrell L. Jackson. East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola was also killed, The Advocate, CNN and WITN report.

According to the New York Times Jackson commented on the recent killing of Alton B. Sterling in Baton Rouge, which led to nationwide protests.

“I’m tired physically and emotionally,” Jackson, 32, reportedly wrote on July 8. “I swear to God I love this city, but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform, I get nasty hateful looks, and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core.”

“This city MUST and WILL get better,” he continued, according to screenshots taken from his page and the Times. “I’m working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you.”

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At 9 a.m. police received a call of a “suspicious person” walking down Airline Highway with a gun. The suspect, who was later identified as 29-year-old Gavin Long of Kansas City, Mo., opened fire when police arrived on the scene. He later died in a shootout with police.

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards said: “The violence and the hatred just has to stop.”

“These men, risking their lives to protect and serve, were taken out the way they were,” Edwards said. “They are the real life, everyday heroes.”

“There simply is no place for more violence,” he continued. “We are not going to tolerate more hate and violence tearing apart the families and communities of Louisiana.”