The aunt of Alton Sterling, whose shooting death by police in Baton Rouge sparked national outrage, broke down in tears as she begged for peace after three police officers in Louisiana’s capital were gunned down Sunday.
Veda Washington-Abusaleh cried as she pleaded for an end to violence and mourned the “senseless murder” of three Baton Rouge officers who were slain during a lone gunman’s ambush.
“Now we have to grieve again, all over again,” she told a local news station. “We don’t call for no bloodshed. That’s how this all started. We don’t want no more bloodshed.”
“At the end of the day when these people call these families and they tell them that their daddies and their mamas not coming home no more, I know how they feel because I got the same phone call,” she later added. “Stop this killing.”
Matthew Gerald, 42, Brad Garafola, 45, and Montrell Jackson, 32, were killed and three more officers were injured Sunday when Gavin Eugene Long, 29, a former Marine from Kansas City, Mo., opened fire on them as they were responding to a report of a man armed with a rifle, authorities said. Long “certainly was seeking out police,” Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police officers in Baton Rouge earlier this month in a parking lot outside of a convenience store. The death was captured on graphic videos and raised widespread concerns about the officers’ actions.
Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Alton Sterling’s teenage son Cameron, said her family is “disgusted” by the Sunday attack on law enforcement, according to a statement obtained by The Advocate.
“My family is heartbroken for the officers and their families. We are praying for them, city leadership and the Baton Rouge community,” the statement said. “As my son Cameron and I have said from the beginning, all we want is peace. We reject violence of any kind directed at members of law enforcement or citizens. My hope is that one day soon we can come together and find solutions to the very important issues facing our nation rather than continuing to hurt one another.”