Three Officers Killed; 3 Injured in Baton Rouge Shooting

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BATON ROUGE, La. — A Missouri man ambushed and killed three law officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge on Sunday during a time when police nationwide and in the Louisiana city in particular have been on high alert after five officers were killed in a Dallas ambush July 7.

Louisiana State Police announced last week that they had received threats of plots against Baton Rouge police.

On Sunday, a man identified as Gavin Long of Kansas City went on a shooting rampage on his 29th birthday that left two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy dead, police sources said. Long, who was African-American, was a former Marine who spent time in Iraq and was discharged at the rank of sergeant in 2010, according to the U.S. military.

Police officers who responded to Sunday’s shootings killed Long in a gunbattle after the other officers were ambushed, police sources told CNN. The murder weapon was an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, law enforcement sources told CNN.

Police have not officially released the names of the victims but one was identified by family members as Officer Montrell Jackson. Law officers Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola were also killed, according to sources close to the department. That was corroborated with social media posts.

The gunman also critically wounded a deputy who is “fighting for his life,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux. Another wounded deputy and police officer have non-life-threatening wounds, law officers said.

Jackson had posted on Facebook on July 8 how physically and emotionally drained he had been since protests had erupted in Baton Rouge after the July 5 killing of Alton Sterling by police.

“I swear to God I love this city, but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty, hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. … These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart.”

Gunman made frequent web posts

Long was a prolific user of social media, with dozens of videos, podcasts, tweets and posts under his pseudonym Cosmo Setepenra. Under that name, Long also tweeted a link to a news story about Dallas shooter Micah Johnson and said the shooter was “one of us! # MY Religion is Justice.”

A law enforcement source said Long “was not alone during his stay in Baton Rouge,” but it’s unclear if others he was with knew about or were actively involved in any plot.

The FBI is running down names of possible associates, another law enforcement official said.

In YouTube videos posted July 8 and 10, reviewed by CNN, Long, using the name “Cosmo,” spoke about the need for “fighting back” and what people should say about him “if anything happened to me.”

In the July 10 video, recorded, he said, in Dallas, he says, “Zero have been successful just over simple protesting.”

“You gotta fight back,” he says on the video.

Two law enforcement sources tell CNN that Long rented a car in Kansas City after the Dallas shootings and drove it to Baton Rouge. Given that Long posted a YouTube video from Dallas on July 10, it is likely he drove to Baton Rouge via Dallas.

Calls for end to violence

Quinyetta McMillon, mother of Sterling’s son Cameron, put out a statement through her lawyers condemning the ambush.

“We are disgusted by the despicable act of violence today that resulted in the shooting deaths of members of the Baton Rouge law enforcement. My family is heartbroken for the officers and their families. … 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.”

President Barack Obama on Sunday condemned the killings and all attacks on law enforcement.

“We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement,” Obama said, speaking from the White House press briefing room. “Attacks on police are an attack on all of us and the rule of law that makes society possible.” In a written statement earlier in the day, Obama called the Baton Rough shootings a “cowardly and reprehensible assault.”

‘No talking, just shooting’

The shooting Sunday took place around 8:40 a.m. (9:40 a.m. ET) in the city of about 230,000 people, already tense after the high-profile police shooting of Sterling, an African-American man, on July 5.

On Sunday, police received a call of a “suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

When police arrived, the shooting began.

“There was no talking, just shooting,” Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L.J. McKneely said.

At an afternoon news conference, local and state authorities, including Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, said Long was thought to be the lone gunman. Earlier reports had said authorities believed there might have been more than one attacker. Edwards described the shooting as an “absolutely unspeakable heinous attack.”

Gunman followed conspiracy groups

Long had at least two websites where he described himself as a “Freedom Strategist, Mental Game Coach, Nutritionist, Author and Spiritual Adviser,” according to a CNN review of the websites.

In addition, Long followed several conspiracy groups devoted to government surveillance and monitoring. CNN found that an email address linked to Long showed he was a member of a support group in an organization called Freedom from Covert Harassment and Surveillance, whose mission is to help those “Marginalized and abused by… Remote Brain experimentation, Remote Neural Monitoring of an entire Humans Body.”

The FBI is vetting the gunman’s claims he was a member of the Nation of Islam. An official said the belief is that Long identified as being associated with the black separatist movement in some capacity but there is no indication he was directed by it. The law enforcement official said the FBI has no indication any black separatist or other domestic terrorist groups are supporting or sending people to kill cops.

In the July 8 YouTube video, Long says he acted on his own and that he wasn’t directed by any group.

“I just wanted to let y’all know, don’t affiliate me with nothing,” he says. “I thought my own stuff; I made my own decisions; I’m the one who gotta listen to the judgment.”

Police had been on alert

Since the shooting death of Sterling by Baton Rouge police, the department has worried about threats against officers.

It has been an emotionally charged few days across the country because of the protests stemming from the Sterling shooting and the shooting by police of Philando Castile in Minnesota, plus the ambush on Dallas police officers in which a sniper killed five officers.

“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Edwards said Sunday in the hours after the Baton Rouge shooting.

15 comments

  • Republican Guns Are Killing Everyone, Sad!

    Everyone not some should have to pay for what they have done wrong, IT’S ABOUT TIME, I do feel for innocent people but not those who took advantage of having a gun and badge!

    • Supporter of America

      Apparently, the elevator is skipping a few floors or most of them. How do you know if anyone is or is not taking advantage of anything? Were these cops or any others questioned by the shooter(s) prior to being ambushed or did their shooter know these officer’s past behaviors? Obviously, there are bad cops around the country but there are bad politicians, doctors, bankers, etc. but these acts serve no purpose and do not justify any ends to the mean. And if these shooter’s are democrats wouldn’t it be “Democrat Guns are Killing Everyone,” your thought process is “SAD” indeed.

    • jimbrony

      So who determined the innocence or guilt of all the people in the World Trade Centers on 9/11? How about at Columbine, Sandy Hook, or VA Tech? How about Belgium, Orlando, or Nice? Who did all those people take advantage of that warranted their death or suffering? It’s about time? You’re a loonie.

  • THE DUKE OF CAMPBELL'S LEDGE

    Crackheads non compliance is more important to Hoe’bomo result good cops bleed.
    Step down you bumbling fool.

  • An Irish Attitude

    If any true American citizen thinks the police in this nation are the problem, then you are the problem! We will ALWAYS SUPPORT our police! We know who our enemy is. Do you? This might help you in your decision…THIS BEHAVIOR WILL GET US A MILITARY/POLICE STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Idea of zero

    These acts are a separation of our great enduring original American society. No current country on this marvel of a planet (the only one proven to sustain life thus far) has accomplished what this experiment that we live in has. There are needless racial tensions (which is why I posted “black lies matter” first), but the truth of it is that those that are promoting it are extorting with lies and edits instead of educating truthfully<<<media. Criminals of all creeds play the victim card when they get caught outside of societal acceptance. We are one species, we need a new path. Continuous acts and opinions against each other are what the top 5% (not 1%) are ultimately vying for. F**k the fear of living your life or leaving your house because of the entitled. There are real thugs- arm yourself. There are moral thiefs- educate yourself and those that you care about. There are reasons that we are all wrong eventually- Nobody can define themselves by another's definition of perfection. Now, if you are too much of a c&^T to deal with the world around you and travel this gift without bias and bigotry- mostly reverse bigotry today<<<that is important, then we will never get anywhere. It is much more mentality related than it is race related. Define yourself by exercising your rights every day as an American (less victims this way), and drawing your opinion from fact instead of sensationalism. ***copy and paste when you get deleted***

    • Idea of zero

      Before I get any b.s. hate- this post is more directed at the fact that good well trained Police officers that uphold their oaths cannot do theirs jobs, criminals are finding loop holes every second to get away with imprisonment, and the media/politicians are just counting the money generated by an unbalanced society out of frivolity that they have spread. Are you people NOT seeing this? “Sugar” by System Of A Down. Granted- this is ONE tragic event, but we are setting ourselves up for even more by being afraid of the truth and acting but not protecting ourselves from the thieves and story tellers that only persist to bury us while living the life of freedom that we should all enjoy. Don’t believe me? You are fighting yourself then- Good luck ***copy and paste again*** -Deleted for too much truth!!! Blooooow me

  • vomit

    I want everybody reading this to dislike this post if they believe in their rights and The Constitution of The United States of America. Are great Americans victims? Please hit the dislike to prove the point of moral segregation and how shallow our press has become. I thumb this way or that will not deter the facts

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