In the early-morning hours of Sunday, the nation was rocked by yet another shooting in Baton Rouge, La.
A gunman—identified as Gavin Eugene Long, who turned 29 on the day of the shooting—shot six law-enforcement officials, killing three, before he was shot and killed himself. As more and more details about the case slowly emerge, so do details of who the shooter was.
Below is everything we currently know about Long.
Long Was a Marine for Five Years
Like the Dallas shooter, Micah Johnson, Long was also a veteran of the military. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years and while there achieved the rank of sergeant. Long was deployed to Iraq in June 2008 before returning home in January 2009, the Los Angeles Times reports. While serving, he received several honors, including the Navy Unit Commendation Medal and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
Long was honorably discharged from the Marines in August 2010.
Long Is Believed to Have Intentionally Targeted Officers
Officials say that Long deliberately attacked law enforcement, calling the incident an "ambush."
“We do believe that he was targeting police officers,” Maj. M. Doug Cain, spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This incident was an ambush.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind. He was canvassing the area … his prey was those police officers,” Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Michael D. Edmonson told CNN, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In the attack, Baton Police Officers Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41, were killed. Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola, 45, was also killed. Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Tullier, 41, was left in critical condition after the shooting, while Deputy Bruce Simmons, 51, and an unidentified Baton Rouge officer escaped the attack with non-life-threatening injuries.
Long Had a Strong Online Presence
Long had a strong online presence, going by the name Cosmo, and had a registered domain, ConvosWithCosmo.club. He posted various podcasts and YouTube videos and even had books that he'd written available to buy.
In videos in which he talked about his ideals and beliefs, Long expressed anger at the shooting of Alton Sterling by police earlier this month.
“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors, from victims fighting their bullies, 100 percent have been successful through fighting back through bloodshed,” he said in a video. “Zero have been successful through simply protesting. It has never been successful and it never will.”
On Twitter, Long described himself as a “Freedom Strategist,” “Radio Host,” “Mental Game Coach, “Alpha Preneur, “Author,” “World Explorer” and “Former Marine.”
He tweeted quite a bit about the recent police shootings and in one tweet referred to the Dallas shooter as "one of us."
Long Has Been Described as a “Black Separatist,” but in Videos He Claimed No Affiliation
According to CNN, after Long was killed, investigators found a card on his body linking him to the Washitaw Nation, law-enforcement officials said.
As CNN notes, the Southern Poverty Law Center says that the Washitaw Nation is a "sovereign tribe descended from pre-Columbian blacks who settled in North America."
Long had legally changed his name, according to the cable network, to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra in May 2015, saying that he was attempting to correct his name as part of the United Washitaw De Dugdahmoundva Mu'er nation.
According to the Washington Post, adherents say that they are not U.S. citizens but "nonresident aliens" who are not subject to taxes, government regulations, or any local, state or federal laws. The Washitaw Nation has roots in "advocating black sovereignty" from white America, the Post notes, quoting the SPLC, and denying the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to all those born and naturalized in the U.S.
However, in a YouTube video posted on July 8, Long adamantly stated that he did not want to be affiliated with anyone: "If anything happens with me—because I’m an alpha male, I stand up, I stand firm and I stand for mine till the end, till the last day in this flesh; but I’m not the flesh, I’m not the body, I have a body—but I just want to let y’all know, don’t affiliate me with nothing,” he said. “I’m affiliated with the spirit of justice, nothing else.
"I thought my own stuff; I made my own decisions; I'm the one who gotta listen to the judgment," Long added.
You can watch a compilation of Long's videos, including the comments made about his affiliation, below. His affiliation remarks begin at the 6:00 mark.
One U.S. law-enforcement official has described Long as a “black separatist,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The FBI is also reportedly investigating a claim that Long made on YouTube saying that he was a member of the Nation of Islam. An official told CNN that it is believed that Long identified with the black separatist movement in some capacity, but there is nothing to indicate that he was directed by the movement. The official said that there was no indication that any black separatist or other domestic terrorist groups are supporting or sending people to harm officers.