A day after suspected shooter Gavin Long ambushed police in Baton Rouge, La., killing three officers and wounding three others, details have emerged about the fallen officers.
The officers who were shot and killed have been identified as Montrell Jackson, 32, Matthew Gerald, 41, and Brad Garafola, 45. Sheriff’s deputies Nicholas Tullier, 41, and Bruce Simmons, 51, were among the injured, according to the Associated Press.
READ MORE: Baton Rouge shooting: Gunman ‘was seeking out’ police in ‘ambush’ on 6 officers
READ MORE: What we know about gunman Gavin Long who killed 3 police officers
Authorities say gunman Gavin Long, 29, opened fire at a shopping centre near Baton Rouge police headquarters on Sunday morning, killing the three officers. Long was identified as the lone shooter and died in a shootout with police.
Here is what we know about the officers who were killed Sunday:
Officer Montrell Jackson
Friends and family mourned the loss of Montrell Jackson as a “humble” and “kind” officer who was a 10-year-veteran of the Baton Rouge police force.
“He loved his job,” Darnell Murdock, one of Jackson’s friends, told the Advocate.
WATCH: Aunt of fallen Baton Rouge officer speaks out
“It motivated him to go out and change people’s lives. He was on (the force) to help people, to make you have a better day,” Murdock said. “He was humble, kind and sweet. … He wasn’t on there to write tickets. I don’t understand how this could happen to someone like him.”
Jackson leaves behind a wife and a 4-month-old son named Mason.
Following the shooting of Alton Sterling, he posted an emotional Facebook message saying he was “physically and emotionally” tired and expressed how difficult it was to be both a police officer and a black man.
“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me,” Montrell Jackson wrote on July 8, just over a week before he was killed.
“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.”
READ MORE: Baton Rouge officer shared touching Facebook message days before death
“These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better.”
In a GoFundMe page created for the fallen officer by a relative, he is described as a hero in a “time of uncertainty and imminent danger.”
“Words cannot describe the devastation that we feel right now,” a statement on the fundraising page reads. “Rest in Peace, Montrell, you will always be our Hero.”
WATCH: Impromptu memorial to three fallen police officers in Baton Rouge
Sheriff deputy Brad Garafola
East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office deputy Garafola was identified as one of the officers killed by family members and local media.
His brother, Brett Garafola, said via Facebook that Brad had been shot and killed, according to WAFB-TV, Baton Rouge.
He was married and had four kids between the ages of 7 and 21.
“I really don’t know how to say this or what I feel right now,” Brett wrote on Sunday afternoon. “For those of you that haven’t heard yet. My brother Deputy Brad Garafola was shot and killed in the attack on Airline Highway this morning. He leaves his wife and 4 kids behind in which he loved so much. I know a lot of you know Brad and his family. Please keep them and all of my family in your prayers.”
Brad’s wife told the Advocate she was on her way to pick up the 24-year police veteran at the B-Quik convenience when she noticed a swarm of police cars blocking the store’s entrance.
“He was a great guy,” his wife Tonja said. “Not just a great law enforcement, he was a great husband and a great father.
“He didn’t deserve this. He always helped everybody.”
Officer Matthew Gerald
Matthew Gerald, a 41-year-old married father of two, was identified as one of the victims of Sunday attack, according to media reports.
Gerald, who served in the Marines and the U.S. Army, had been with the Baton Rouge Police Department for just four months after graduating from the police academy in March, according local news station WBRZ.
He had only been on patrol by himself for 12 days before he was shot and killed.
Nick Lambert, who served with Gerald in the military, told the Washington Post he was devastated to find out his friend was murdered.
“After three tours, not a scratch on him. Comes back home, chooses a job to serve others, and this is what our society does?” Lambert said. “It’s a coward’s way to make a statement.”
A candlelight vigil will be held for him on Monday, July 18.
The shooting came less than two weeks after 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man, was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge in a confrontation sparking protests that reverberated across the United States.
Sunday’s attack also came in the wake of the tragedy in Dallas that saw five police officers killed during a demonstration over the police shootings of Sterling and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
*With files from the Associated Press
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