Three police officers were fatally shot and three others were wounded in Baton Rouge on Sunday.
The gunman has been identified as Gavin Long, 29, from Kansas City; he does not appear to have family ties to Baton Rouge. This incident occurs during a time when police all over the country, particularly in Baton Rouge, have been alert after the killing of five police officers in Dallas on July 7. Police in Baton Rouge were also on alert because of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers on July 5.
President Obama condemned the attack, calling it “cowardly and reprehensible,” adding that “Regardless of motive, the death of these three brave officers underscores the danger that police across the country confront every single day.”
On Sunday, Gavin Long killed two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy. He used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, according to law enforcement. Long was a former Marine who spent time in Iraq and was discharged in 2010 at the rank of sergeant. Police officers who arrived at the scene killed Long. He was a social media presence, with videos, podcasts, tweets, and posts under the name Cosmo Setepenra. He tweeted a link to a news story about Dallas shooter Micah Johnson, saying the shooter was “one of us! # MY Religion is Justice.”
The three men killed were Officer Montrell Jackson, Officer Matthew Gerald, and Officer Brad Garafola. On July 8, Jackson posted on Facebook about how drained he felt since protests occurred in Baton Rouge after the killing of Alton Sterling.
“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.”