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Three officers shot and killed are identified

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BATON ROUGE, LA- The three law enforcement officers shot and killed early Sunday morning have been identified. 

A spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has identified the third officer killed during a shooting in Baton Rouge as sheriff's deputy Brad Garafola. Casey Rayborn Hicks told The Associated Press Sunday that the slain deputy was 45-years-old and had been with the sheriff's office for 24 years. Garafola was one of three law enforcement officers shot and killed Sunday. The other two were Baton Rouge police department officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald. Hicks also identified the injured sheriff's deputies as 41-year-old Nicholas Tullier an 18-year veteran, and 51-year-old Bruce Simmons, a 23-year veteran. Hicks says that Tullier is in critical condition while Simmons has non-life threatening injuries.

A neighbor of slain Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy Brad Garafola says he was a family man. Rhonda Smith said Sunday evening that Garafola was never seen without at least one of his four children, who range in age from 7 to 21. Smith says Garafola was, "the epitome of a peace officer." A gunman killed 45-year-old Garafola, who had been with the sheriff's office for 24 years, and two Baton Rouge police officers early Sunday before he was shot and killed.

A Louisiana state representative has identified one of the three officers killed Sunday and said he had a 4-month-old child. State Rep. Ted James Sunday gave the name of the dead officer as Montrell Jackson. James said he knows Jackson and his family personally and spoke to the family earlier Sunday. Jackson was one of three officers shot and killed in Baton Rouge Sunday morning. Three others were also wounded.
The family of a 32-year-old Baton Rouge police officer killed Sunday is mourning his death and called him a man of "God, family and the police force." Kedrick Pitts, a 24-year-old truck driver and the younger half-brother of Montrell Jackson, said he was very close to his older brother. He described his brother as someone dedicated to "God, family and the police force." Pitts and other family members were gathered outside Jackson's mother's house in Baton Rouge to mourn the loss of Jackson. Pitts said his brother "went above and beyond" and that he was "a protector." He said his brother had been on the force for 10 years, having joined in 2006. He said he had risen to the rank of corporal. He said Jackson has a wife and a 4-month-old son, Mason. He called Jackson a hard-working police officer who often worked seven days a week.

A person familiar with the investigation has identified the second slain Baton Rouge police officer as Matthew Gerald, 41. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Gerald was one of three law enforcement officers killed by a gunman Sunday in Baton Rouge.