Three police officers have been fatally shot and 3 others injured, with one in critical condition, after a shooting in the Louisiana town of Baton Rouge.
The gunman has been identified as ex-marine sergeant, Gavin Eugene Long. The 29-year-old, whose birthday was the day the shooting took place, was honourably discharged from his rank in 2010.
After his dismissal, Long went on to become a lifestyle guru, and used the internet to advocate violent protests by urging black people to “fight back through bloodshed”.
On Sunday 17 July, Long drove a rented car from his home in Kansas City, Missouri to a petrol station on Airline Highway, Louisiana.
Officers responded to reports of a masked man dressed all in black, wielding an AR-15 type assault rifle. When police officers arrived on scene, Long began opening fire at around 8:30am.
The three murdered police officers have been identified as Montrell Jackson, 32, Matthew Gerald, 41, and Brad Garafola, 45.
The injured sheriff’s have also been named as 41-year-old Nicholas Tullier, and 51-year-old Bruce Simmons. The third officer is yet to be named.
According to reports, Long declared himself as a ‘sovereign citizen’ – part of a collective movement that believes the government and police hold no authority over them.
Under the Pseudonym of ‘Cosmo Setepenra’ Long used Instagram and YouTube to share his manifesto regarding the ‘Alpha-preneur’ lifestyle. Long also expressed his anger over the recent shootings of unarmed black victims including Louisiana victim, Alton Sterling.
In footage shot before he travelled to Baton Rouge, Long stated “One hundred per cent of revolutions, victims fighting their oppressors, victims fighting their bullies, 100 per cent have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed.
“Zero have been successful by simply protesting. It has never worked and it never will.
Baton Rouge Sheriff, Sid Gautreaux publically stated: “Until we come together as a nation, as a people, to heal as a people. […] If we don’t do that and this madness continues, we will surely perish as a people”.