Slain officers in Sunday's shooting in Baton Rouge ID'd

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Monday, July 18, 2016
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Three officers died in the attack that also left three injured in Baton Rouge.

BATON ROUGE, LA (KTRK) -- A gunman and three officers he killed in Baton Rouge Sunday morning have been identified. In all, three offers were killed and three others injured in the latest violence between police and civilians.

According to ABC News, Gavin Long, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, opened fire on the officers, killing Baton Rouge PD Officers Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Deputy Brad Garafola.

Long, a former Marine who started duty in August 2005 and was discharged five years later in 2010, was shot and killed at the scene.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that federal authorities are currently looking into what ties -- if any -- Long may have with the Moorish Science Temple of America. This is an anti-government movement and group that has long been under FBI scrutiny.

Long had his cell phone on him at the time he was killed. Investigators have the phone and are scrubbing it for new leads, including of course any potential associates. At the same time, authorities are trying to nail down how and when he got to Baton Rouge from Missouri, how many other weapons he may have recently obtained and where he got them, and sources told ABC News authorities are "ripping through his social media."

Law enforcement sources tell ABC News that authorities are looking into videos of the alleged Baton Rouge shooter that have been posted online.

One of the videos seen by a law enforcement source involves Gavin Long discussing religion, specifically at one time being a Christian and a Muslim. It appears that he used the pseudonym of Cosmo Setepenra.

Another law enforcement source confirmed that Long used the Cosmo pseudonym and his twitter handle was @convoswithcosmo.

His last tweet was posted nearly 24 hours ago when he wrote:

ABC News Kansas City affiliate KMBC, interviewed a neighbor and a woman who claims to be Long's aunt who confirmed that it is him in the videos.

Following the shooting, authorities initially believed that two other assailants might be at large, but hours later said that no other active shooters were in the city.

Jackson had been with the Baton Rouge Police Department for 10 years and Gerald less than a year. Garafola had been with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office for 24 years.

The attack began just before 9am at a gas station on Airline Highway. Long's body was next door outside a fitness center. Police said they were using a specialized robot to check for explosives near the body.


Five officers were rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Ashley Mendoza said.

Of those hospitalized, two have been identified. Nicholas Tullier, 41, of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office is currently in critical condition. He's been with the sheriff's office for 18 years. Bruce Simmons, 51, has been with the sheriff's office for 23 years. Simmons has non-life threatening injuries. One Baton Rouge office injured hasn't been identified.

One officer was sent to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, spokeswoman Meghan Parrish said.

Gov. John Bel Edwards asked the public to pray for the officers involved and their families.

"Rest assured, every resource available to the State of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice," Edwards said in a statement.

Edwards spoke with President Obama, who offered support and condolences for those affected by the shooting.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw police vehicles with lights flashing massed about a half mile from the police headquarters on Airline Highway. Police armed with long guns on the road stopped at least two vehicles driving away from the scene and checked their trunks and vehicles before allowing them to drive away.

The violence in Louisiana comes amidst heightened tensions between law enforcement officers and minority communities in Louisiana and around the country.

On July 5th, police officers in Baton Rouge shot and killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store. Several bystanders recorded the altercation on their cell phones, and videos of the Sterling's death were widely circulated on social media.

VIDEO: Demonstrators take to the streets in Baton Rouge

The next day, a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop. According to eyewitness accounts, Castile declared to officers that he was carrying a licensed firearm; he was shot as he reached for his driver's license.

Castile's girlfriend broadcasted the immediate, graphic aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live from the passenger's seat of the vehicle.

VIDEO: Philando Castile's girlfriend speaks out

Then, on July 7th, a gunman with ties to black supremacist groups shot and killed five law enforcement officers and injured 9 others during an otherwise peaceful demonstration in downtown Dallas.

VIDEO: Suspect identified in Dallas ambush

The incident marked the deadliest day for law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

In the weeks that followed, demonstrators in Houston and across the country have taken to the streets to call for peace and an end to violence against all.

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in downtown Houston for peaceful demonstration

Congressman Al Green organized Courageous Conversation, a town hall event where community members engaged in a dialogue with law enforcement and elected officials about the intersection of race and policing.

LSU President F. King Alexander sent the following memo to students following Sunday morning shooting

Dear Students,

This morning, regrettably, our city lost several officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office in the line of duty. Several other officers were injured. Our thoughts are with those officers and their families, as well as their fellow officers who are responding to this tragedy.

Although the shootings occurred some distance from campus, LSU is taking precautionary measures to ensure the continued safety of our LSU campus community. Our Emergency Operations Center has been activated to assist the LSU Police, who have been called upon to support local law enforcement. The LSU Police are also taking steps to increase security around the campus.

We are all committed to a safe environment and will continue to do all that we can to keep the campus safe. We encourage you to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities to the LSU Police at 225-578-3231.

F. King Alexander

LSU President