Police are still on edge about all that has occurred here in the states. And right they should be. They’ve got more of a target on their backs than ever before. Glad they could get these guys before anything tragic happened.
Police have arrested three suspects and were seeking a possible fourth accused of stealing several handguns as part of a ‘substantial, credible threat’ to harm police officers in the Baton Rouge area.
Authorities in Baton Rouge discovered the alleged plot while responding to a burglary at a pawn shop early on Saturday morning, Baton Rouge police Chief Carl Dabadie said in a press conference.
The chief said the first suspect arrested told police that ‘the reason the burglary was being done was to harm police officers.’
Dabadie said the suspect did not give any details about when or where a possible plot would be carried out.
Authorities said they arrested one suspect – Antonio Thomas, 17 – at the scene with a handgun and a BB gun.
Another suspect, Malik Bridgewater, 20, was apprehended on Sunday and a third suspect – a 13-old boy – was apprehended on a street.
They called on the fourth suspect, who remains at large and has not been identified, to turn himself in.
Another man was arrested for allegedly purchasing two of the stolen guns, but he hasn’t been linked to the alleged plot, a police spokesman said.
Trashone Coats, 23, was arrested after police found him with the stolen guns, which he had purchased ‘on the street,’ KATC reports. He was booked with illegal possession of a stolen firearm.
All of the suspects are from Baton Rouge and all are black. They face charges including burglary, simple burglary, and theft of a firearm; they have not been arrested on any charges related to plotting to kill police.
Six of the eight stolen firearms have been recovered and two are still at large, authorities said.
In a statement, police said surveillance video showed the suspects using a ladder to climb the roof of the building to get in. Eight handguns and one airsoft BB gun were missing from the store.
Police said they have increased their presence in Baton Rouge due to the ‘very real and viable threats’ to law enforcement in the area, CNN reports.
The alleged plot was the main reason they were quick to become aggressive when they believed protesters in the city were becoming disruptive over the weekend.
‘We can’t take anything for granted anymore,’ East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.
‘What you saw in the law enforcement response is because of the very real and viable threats against law enforcement.’
He added: ‘Look what happened in Dallas. A very peaceful protest and then some crazy madman.’
A week after Sterling, was shot and killed by two white police officers in Baton Rouge outside a convenience store, tension remain high in the city.
The Justice Department has opened a federal civil rights investigation into Sterling’s shooting.