When news spread that officer Montrell Jackson had been gunned down in Baton Rouge, a fellow police officer and neighbor of his could be heard screaming in sorrow. Another former co-worker fell to his news when he heard the news. "I've never cried that hard in my life," said Marcus Tillman, who now lives in Dallas, Texas, the scene of its own horrific police shooting. Jackson’s next door neighbor Kristi Vick Godal, herself the daughter of a retired Baton Rouge cop, called his death “an absolute tragedy. He was a police officer but he was also a proud black man." These are just some of the tributes coming in for the slain officer who publicly expressed concern and frustration over the tensions between law enforcement and communities of color before he fell prey to the assassin’s bullet.
32 year old Montrell Jackson had been with the Baton Rouge police department for over 10 years, and was one of three law enforcement officials killed Sunday, along with 41 year old rookie Matthew Gerald and sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola, 45. They were responding to reports of a man with a weapon at the Hammond Aire Plaza shopping center on Airline Highway. The area was near Baton Rouge Police Headquarters, which has been the site of numerous demonstrations since the July 5th killing of Alton Sterling by police. They were gunned down in cold blood by deranged former Marine Gavin Long, who died in the shootout.