Summary: Police have identified Sunday’s Baton Rouge shooter as Gavin Eugene Long, an admitted member of sovereign citizens.
On Sunday morning, there was another deadly shooting attack on Police officers—this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police spoke to the press that the shooter, Gavin Eugene Long, was specifically “seeking out police” to harm.
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According to witnesses, Long stood behind a beauty salon while wearing all black, body armor, and a mask. He carried a rifle, and his appearance and weapon drew the attention of police officers who were inside a convenience store nearby. The convenience store was less than one mile from police headquarters.
Edmonson said that Long was a former marine and a Kansas City, Missouri native. Sunday was his 29th birthday, and he sickly celebrated by shooting the men in blue. The suspect was killed after what Edmonson called was an “ambush” against police.
Long killed three officers and wounded three others. The officers murdered were Montrell Jackson, 32, a ten-year member of the Baton Rouge Police Department; Matthew Gerald, 41, who had been employed there for less than a year; and Brad Garafola, 45, of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office who had spent decades on the force. It appeared that Long was not targeting the officers by their race.
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According to CBS News, on July 8, Jackson posted a message on Facebook after the death of Alton Sterling, a black man killed in Baton Rouge by white police officers outside of a convenience store. Long, who is black, said that when he wore a uniform, he got nasty looks; and when he was in casual clothing, he was considered a threat. He felt physically and emotionally tired from prejudice, and he said to his Facebook readers, “Please don’t let hate infect your heart.”
Authorities said that Long received honors while in the military and that his online history showed a man who cared about social issues. However, recently his views radicalized as evident by his newer posted videos urging people to “fight back” against oppressive forces. CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds said Long also aligned with a domestic terrorist group last year, and he had admitted this when he posted a video of himself, declaring that he was a “sovereign citizen.”
The FBI sent out a bulletin in 2011 declaring the group, sovereign citizens, was “a domestic terrorist movement” that posed a “growing domestic threat to law enforcement” because of their anti-authority views. Louisiana had dealt with the group personally in 2012 when sovereign citizens were arrested in a fatal deputy shooting near New Orleans.
Before his attack, Long posted a video on Facebook saying that he did not believe in peaceful protest, which is what the leaders of Black Lives Matter have sought to organize nation wide. The Black Lives Matter movement emerged years ago as a response to the murder of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty.
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Source: CBS News