As tensions between police and the African-American community remain high in the wake of the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, investigators are piecing together as much information as possible to find out what led to Gavin Long’s attack and how to prevent it from happening again. The shooting marks the second attack targeting police officers this month, with much of the country still processing the aftermath of a gunman opening fire during a peaceful protest against police brutality in downtown Dallas, Texas earlier this month. That attack claimed the lives of five police officers and injured nine others, including several protestors.
According to CNN, Baton Rouge police were responding to a call about "a suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle,” when they made their way to the scene. Once the officers arrived, Gavin reportedly opened fire right away before eventually being killed during the shootout with law enforcement. As the investigation into the attack continues, here are 12 facts we know about Gavin Long so far.
1. Gavin Long was 29 years old and a native of Kansas City, Missouri.
2. The shooting took place on July 17, which was also Gavin's 29th birthday.
3. Three Baton Rouge police officers were killed and three others were injured when he opened fire.
4. He was a former Marine corps sergeant and an Iraq war veteran.
5. The weapon he used to carry out the attack on Baton Rouge police officers was an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.
6. He attended the University Of Alabama for one semester following his time in the Marines.
7. Gavin made it clear that he was not affiliated with Black Lives Matter, The Nation of Islam, ISIS or any other groups or organizations in a video posted to his personal blog on July 8.
8. Gavin was previously married, but divorced his wife in 2011.
9. He described himself as “affiliated with the spirit of justice” in the wake of the recent high profile police killings of Alton Sterling & Philando Castile.
10. He stated on his blog that he believed “money” and “bloodshed” were the only two ways to stop the police brutality against African-Americans.
11. Although police initially believed Gavin had other accomplices, they now believe he acted alone in the attack.
12. On his websites, he described himself as a “Freedom Strategist,” “Nutritionist,” and “Spiritual Advisor.”
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