Baton Rouge police killer 'was seeking out police'

Baton Rouge police killer 'was seeking out police'

A gunman who murdered three Louisiana police officers in an ambush "was seeking out police", investigators have confirmed.

State police also officially identified the Baton Rouge gunman as former US Marine Gavin Long, who was killed at the scene.

The shooting on Sunday also left three officers injured, one critically.

Col. Mike Edmonson said Long's "movements, his direction, his attention, was on police officers".

Mr Edmonson also said investigators have interviewed people who had contact with the gunman in Baton Rouge, but officials are still asking any others who might have known him to come forward.

The shooting, less than a mile from police headquarters, added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police.

Long, from Kansas City, Missouri, turned 29 on Sunday, the same day he opened fire.

Montrell Jackson, one of the police oficers shot dead in Sunday's attack, posted a Facebook message about police work just days before he was shot dead.
Montrell Jackson, one of the police oficers shot dead in Sunday's attack, posted a Facebook message about police work just days before he was shot dead.

Just days earlier, one of the murdered officers posted an emotional Facebook message about the challenges of police work in the current environment.


US President Barack Obama urged people to tamp down inflammatory words and actions. "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," he said.

Long, who was black, served in the marines from 2005 to 2010, reaching the rank of sergeant. He deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009, according to military records.

He had no known ties to any extremist groups.

Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities said they were unsure if he had some kind of help. "We are not ready to say he acted alone," state police spokesman Major Doug Cain said.

Two "persons of interest" were detained for questioning in the nearby town of Addis but were later released without charge.

Mr Cain said authorities planned to continue investigating whether the gunman had any assistance "indirectly, directly here or at home".

While in the military, Long was awarded several medals, including one for good conduct, and received an honourable discharge. His occupational expertise was listed as "data network specialist".

It is the fourth high-profile deadly encounter in the United States involving police over the past two weeks. In all, the violence has cost the lives of eight officers, including those in Baton Rouge, and two civilians and sparked a national debate over race and policing.


More in this Section

Trump threatens to deploy military in vow to end protestsTrump threatens to deploy military in vow to end protests

Two-metre distance more effective than one at curbing Covid-19 spread – studyTwo-metre distance more effective than one at curbing Covid-19 spread – study

British MPs to return to Westminster after virtual proceedings droppedBritish MPs to return to Westminster after virtual proceedings dropped

New reporting process sees 445 extra Covid-19 deaths added to UK totalNew reporting process sees 445 extra Covid-19 deaths added to UK total


Lifestyle

Bless me readers, I have sinned. This week, we had more than a few visitors around, some water was wasted in the back garden and I was judgmental about my friends’ parenting style.Learner Dad: The highlight was when my daughter roared, ‘this is just like being on holidays’

Wearing gloves when out in public has become more prevalent and so has pulling them on in the garden during lockdown, writes Ray RyanIreland's growing love for gardening

Dublin songstress, Imelda May.Imelda May returns with spoken word album Slip Of The Tongue

Back in the day, there was a device called a GameShark.GameTech: Maneater is a game with bite

More From The Irish Examiner