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Gunman shoots and injures 3 police officers, 2 innocent bystanders in New Orleans suburb

By Rebekah Riess and Stephen Watts, CNN

(CNN) — Three police officers were shot and injured by a gunman after responding to a shooting outside a home in Kenner, Louisiana, on Sunday, authorities said.

The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Matthew Lathers, was eventually fatally shot by a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office sniper, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said at a joint news conference.

Around 9:45 a.m., Kenner police were called after two people were shot outside a home. Kenner Police Capt. Michael Cunningham told reporters the victims had been sitting in a vehicle.

“We believed they were either going to or coming from church, they just happened to stop there in front of that residence and that’s when they were shot,” Cunningham said.

The two victims showed responding officers the home where the gunfire came from, according to a joint statement from Lopinto and Kenner Police Chief Keith Conley.

Detectives recognized the address as belonging to a family member of Lathers; Lathers had an outstanding warrant for an attempted murder and armed robbery earlier in the week, the statement said.

Police obtained a search warrant and a SWAT team arrived on scene to execute the warrant. When the team entered the home, they “immediately began receiving fire,” the statement said.

“At least one SWAT member returned fire. Three officers were shot, and it is unknown at this time if Lathers was struck during that initial contact.”

Kenner police then requested assistance from the sherriff’s office. When deputies arrived, the suspect began shooting at the armored vehicle the deputies were in, the statement said. “Multiple attempts were made to contact Lathers to open negotiations, but all efforts were unsuccessful,” it added.

A sniper was then able to shoot Lathers, who was fatally wounded, according to Lopinto. Lathers was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two of the Kenner police officers who were wounded have been released from the hospital, and the other is in stable condition, Cunningham said.

The two innocent bystanders who were shot earlier in the day are also both in stable condition at the hospital, according to the police captain.

The sheriff said his office would be in charge of the investigation into the shooting.

Kenner is around 13 miles west of New Orleans.

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