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Baton Rouge Shooter Named: Black Vet Killed 3 Cops, Wounded 3 Others

Image: Baton Rouge Shooter Named: Black Vet Killed 3 Cops, Wounded 3 Others

Police officers killed in Baton Rough were, from left, Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald. (Baton Rouge Police Dept. via AP)

Monday, 18 Jul 2016 06:34 AM

The Baton Rouge shooter has been named as Gavin Long, a black veteran accused of killing three police officers and wounding three others on Sunday, reported Agence France-Presse, in a bloody act reminiscent of recent slayings in Dallas to avenge African Americans killed by law enforcement.

The shooting took place along a highway near police headquarters around 8:40 a.m. local times, after officers responded to a call about a man carrying a rifle. The suspect was dressed all in black and, some reports said, wore a mask.

A witness told local media the gunman carried what appeared to be an AR-15 assault-style rifle.

The shooting took place in a city scarred by racial tensions and protests against police brutality since the July 5 death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot by police.

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson told reporters the gunman behind the shooting — identified as Long, 29 — was killed and there are no suspects at large. The motive was not immediately clear.

Long, a former Marine whose Iraq tour lasted from June 2008 to January 2009, legally changed his name last year to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra, claiming to be a member of the Washitaw Nation, a group of African Americans claiming to be a Native American nation in the United States.

Setepenra's Twitter feed, which was filled with posts targeting white people, said he had traveled to Dallas, and he posted videos of himself traveling there.

"Violence is not THE answer (its a answer [sic]), but at what point do you stand up so that your people don't become the Native Americans . . . EXTINCT?" he wrote in a July 13 post.

But one of the officers killed by Long — Montrell Jackson — was black. The other two were identified as Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola.

One of the wounded officers "is in critical condition fighting for his life as we speak," Edmonson said. The other two officers were in stable condition.

On July 7 a gunman ambushed police officers in Dallas, killing five, during a demonstration triggered by Sterling's death, as well as that of another African American man in Minnesota whose dying moments were captured in video footage that went viral online.

President Barack Obama condemned the "cowardly" Baton Rouge shooting and demanded an end to such violence.

"It is so important that everyone... right now focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further," Obama said.

"We don't need inflammatory rhetoric. We don't need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts, all of us."

Obama pledged the federal government's full support in investigating the incident.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, expressed grief in a Facebook post.

"How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order," he wrote.

"Today has been a very tough day here in Baton Rouge and in Louisiana and in our country – an absolutely unspeakable, heinous attack on law enforcement here in Baton Rouge," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "The violence, the hatred, just has to stop."

Last week, police arrested more than 100 protesters taking part in a demonstration against police brutality in Baton Rouge under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.

© AFP 2017

   
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The Baton Rouge shooter has been named as Gavin Long, a black veteran accused of killing three police officers and wounding three others on Sunday, reported Agence France-Presse, in a bloody act reminiscent of recent slayings in Dallas to avenge African Americans killed by law enforcement.
baton rouge, shooter, named, cops, killed
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2016-34-18
Monday, 18 Jul 2016 06:34 AM
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