Baton Rouge killer wanted to ‘fight back’

A former Marine dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition set out to ambush police in Baton Rouge, authorities said a day after three law enforcement officers were killed in the attack.

His attention was on police officers,” state police Mike Edmonson said.

He would not elaborate but said the shooter was definitely “seeking out” police. 

Three other officers were wounded on Sunday. The gunman, identified as 29-year-old Gavin Long of Kansas City, Missouri, was killed at the scene.

In online posts, a man using an alias of Long’s said protests alone do not work, and that people must fight back after the deaths of black men at the hands of police.

Documents show that Long sought to change his name last year to Cosmo Setepenra. 

A website using that name links to online books about nutrition, self-awareness, and empowerment. 

The man describes himself as a “freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author, and spiritual advisor.”

In a video posted on July 10, the person making the post says he is speaking from Dallas after five police officers were fatally shot there. 

The man also discusses the protests in Baton Rouge and what he perceived as oppression. 

He says: “You’ve got to fight back. That’s the only way a bully knows to quit.” 

In an earlier video, the man says that if anything ever happens to him, he does not want to be linked to any groups and mentioned once belonging to Nation of Islam.

The attack unfolded less than two weeks after Baton Rouge police fatally shot a black man in a confrontation that sparked protests nationwide. 

Cnl Edmonson also confirmed that investigators have interviewed people with whom the shooter had contact in Baton Rouge. 

However, he would not say how many or give details and stressed that the interviews do not mean that those people were involved in the shooting. 

He urged anyone else who might have information about Long to come forward.

The shooting, less than a mile from police headquarter,s added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police. It was the fourth high-profile deadly encounter in the US 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 debate over race and policing.

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.

Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities were investigating whether he had some kind of help.


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