The call was chilling: a man armed with an assault rifle was walking near the B-Quik store on Airline Highway across the street from Hammond Aire Plaza.
Police radio dispatches over the next half hour offer a look into the chaotic scene of the attack Sunday morning that left three law enforcement officers dead in an exchange of gunfire with a shooter, who was also killed.
About 8:40 a.m., an officer reported that a “lady came up and said there was a suspect walking with a (unintelligible) and an assault rifle out here behind the store." The officer added that two city police units were behind a hair salon near the B-Quik.
Two minutes later, there were frantic calls for help.
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"Shots fired, officer down, shots fired, officer down!” an officer could be heard yelling. “Got a city officer down, shots fired! Shots fired on Airline!”
The officer initially could not determine where the shots were coming from.
“Unknown where the subject’s shooting from!” he yelled.
“We do not have a 40 on the shooter, he is not in sight, possibly sniper,” an officer said.
"And we need the Bear Cat! We need the Bear Cat!” an officer added.
The armored vehicles were apparently used to safely collect officers who had been shot.
Radio traffic suggests the gunman was on the move, shooting as he went past businesses, including a car wash.
Then an injured officer can be heard: “I’m hit, left arm.” He said he was near the car wash.
Officers kept reporting that shots were still being fired, and a fresh call came in that "we've got an officer down."
Another officer said, "we've got two down back here, two down."
Calls then suggest that the attacker had been shot.
“We have eyes on a subject,” an officer said. "He is down."
Another call went out for the Bear Cat to collect an officer who had been shot near a hair supply store.
In a radio discussion to determine whether there were any more attackers, an officer said the shooter was wearing a mask. An officer added that a witness had described the shooter: “One subject, all black, carrying an A-R.”
Another call went out for a Bear Cat to help a "deputy down." Officers discussed where to transport the shot officers so EMS could take over.
A few minutes later, officers talked about escorting employees of nearby businesses away from the scene. An officer said there were about “17 or so” employees seeking safe haven in rooms of Benny’s Car Wash.
Officers were advised to check the surrounding area for more wounded officers.
“I need eyes to see if we have any other officers down, so check around and see what else is around you,” an officer said. Others radioed in that the scene appeared to be clear.
About 30 minutes after the officers initially responded to the call, the radio traffic indicates the scene had been secured and an attacker had been shot.
Officers sent a robot to the suspect's body to ensure he was no longer a threat.