Feds Raid House Connected to Police Officer Murder Plot
Baton Rouge police, already under siege after an interaction between police and a black male turned fatal in that city last week, are now facing threats in their own town.
Two raids revealed a plot to kill officers as retribution for the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling who was shot on July 5 in the parking lot of a convenience store after a 911 call reported he threatened a homeless man with a gun.
The burglary of a Cash America pawn shop was planned with one goal in mind according to 17-year-old Antonio Thomas, who was apprehended at the scene, while his three accomplices, including an unidentified minor, fled.
Thomas told police that the purpose of the burglary was to get guns and bullets to “be able to shoot and kill police” during the protests that followed the death of Sterling.
“This was substantial, credible information that we received that was going to cause harm to police officers in the Baton Rouge area,” said State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson Tuesday evening.
As a result, police wore protective gear on duty at demonstrations around the city, a move that raised questions and concerns from the public.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said the decision to outfit the officers in the gear was a direct response to the information received from the suspects arrested in the two burglaries.
“We couldn't say; we wouldn't say because of the investigation going on but what you saw in the response is because of the very real, viable threats against law enforcement. All I can say beyond that is look what happened in Dallas.”
Eight guns were stolen from the pawnshop, although six were recovered when police arrested 23-year-old Trashone Coats, 20-year-old Malik Bridgewater and a 13-year-old male.
Authorities from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms say agents are involved in the hunt for the suspect who is considered armed and a danger to law enforcement officer.