Gavin Long, Baton Rouge gunman identified as former US Marine

July 18, 2016 5:29 am

Police officers stand near the
scene of shooting where three police officers were killed, Baton Rouge,
, July 17, 2016. (AFP photo)

The gunman behind Sunday’s
fatal attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a former
member of the US Marine Corps who had served in Iraq, public records
show.

Gavin Long, 29, became a Marine in August 2005 and
served for five years before ending his active duty in August 2010,
according to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) website.
He
was gunned down by police on Sunday, after killing 3 cops and injuring 3
others. Long was apparently outraged by the recent police killings of
unarmed black men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, Minnesota.
On July
5, 2016, Alton Sterling was shot several times and killed after being
tackled to the ground by two white officers, one of two consecutive
police killings that led to renewed protests against racial bias in law
enforcement.
One day after Sterling’s death, Philando Castile was fatally shot by police in his car in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.

A
portrait of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge
Police officers, during his funeral at Southern University in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana, July 15, 2016. (AFP photo)According to military records released Sunday, Long had made the rank of sergeant and served as a Data Network Specialist.
Long
was deployed to Iraq from June 2008 until January 2009. He also spent
some time at a Marine Corps base in Okinawa, Japan, according to the
records.
The former Marine’s mass shooting of police officers came
days after another former military veteran named Micah Johnson shot 12
police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five of them. Johnson was an
Afghanistan veteran.

Baton Rouge police rush the crowd of protesters and start making arrest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 9, 2016. (AFP photo)Federal
authorities are investigating Long’s possible links to a group named
Moorish Science Temple of America. Founded in early 1900s, the group
does not recognize the US government’s authority over the descendants of
slaves.
Sterling and Castile’s shooting deaths by white officers have sparked nationwide protests in the US.
President
Barack Obama took the stage on Sunday to condemn the move, portraying
it as a divisive measure to boost enmity with the US police.
“We
as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies attacks on
law enforcement,” Obama said in the White House briefing room, calling
on Americans to “focus on words and actions that can unite this country
rather than divide it further.”
The US police killed over 1,150
people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately
killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an
activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.

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