Ascension officials mourn death of Baton Rouge officer

Michael Tortorich

Ascension Parish leaders expressed their condolences Sunday night for a Baton Rouge Police officer who died in the line of duty. 

A fellow officer was critically wounded, according to reports.

Upon hearing the news of the two police officers shot in the neighboring parish, local officials took to social media to share messages of solidarity.

We go to sleep tonight with heavy hearts, as we try and grasp what happened today,” read a social media post from the Gonzales Police Department. 

A post from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office asked followers to pray for the families of the fallen officers.

Tonight our hearts are heavy for our Baton Rouge Police Department family,” the post read.

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment also asked everyone to join him in prayer for the officers. 

An attack on any police officer anywhere is an attack on us all, especially now when we should be united in healing. May God bless all those who put themselves in danger to protect us, and bring peace and comfort to their families,” Cointment said in a social media post.

A widely circulated video from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital captured lines of police vehicles with lights on as a tribute to the officers. The video was captured by Dr. Christina Christ, an OLOL COVID-19 ICU physician. The officers were lined up on the top floor of the hospital parking lot.

The two officers were shot about 12:30 p.m. Sunday after responding to a call on Conrad Drive in Baton Rouge. The location is near the corner of Winbourne Avenue and North Foster.

Police were in a standoff with the alleged shooter, 36-year-old Ronnie Kato, for four hours.

Area law enforcement agencies set up a motorcade as a showing of respect for the officer who was killed. 

The names of the officers were not made available to the public as of Sunday night. Baton Rouge officials held a press conference late in the day, but information was limited.

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said the officer who died was a 21-year BRPD veteran. The critically-injured officer was a seven-year veteran.

During this stressful time, both in our community and across the globe, it is imperative that we join together now more than ever,” she said in a statement.