An ex-marine turned militant radical, identified by investigators as Gavin Eugene Long, murdered three Baton Rogue, Louisiana, police officers Sunday, leaving three more in critical condition in the latest ambush assault on law enforcement officers in recent weeks.
The Baton Rouge shooter, as Breitbart News reported, had a massive digital footprint, which helps shine some light on how a self-described “spiritual counselor” with several ties to black nationalist groups could commit such heinous attacks on unsuspecting cops.
Here is what we know, so far, about Gavin Eugene Long.
FACT 1: Long left behind a lengthy, twisted history of encouraging violence and anti-American sentiments on social media.
Gavin Long posted and produced dozens of videos, many of which he featured on a web page he registered in April called “Convos With Cosmo.” In addition to his videos, Long flooded Twitter and Instagram with his messages and created a YouTube channel under the pseudonym “Cosmo Setepenra.”
On Twitter, Long described himself as a “Freedom Strategist,” “Radio Host,” Mental Game Coach, “Alpha Preneur, “Author,” “World Explorer,” and “Former Marine.” He also says he has an “☥Ethiopian Bloodline☥.”
Many of Long’s social media posts were musing of a man warning of a coming revolution between black people and the federal government.
In a rant posted just days before his deadly attack, Long urged his followers to “stand up,” saying, “Violence is not THE answer (its a answer), but at what point do you stand up so that your people dont become the Native Americans… EXTINCT?”
Violence is not THE answer (its a answer), but at what point do you stand up so that your people dont become the Native Americans…EXTINCT?
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 13, 2016
In one tweet, Long referred to Houston New Black Panther Party member Micah X. Johnson, who ambushed and murdered five Dallas police officers last week, as “one of us.”
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 8, 2016
“Power doesnt respect weakness. Power only respects Power,” he tweeted just hours before carrying out his deadly attack.
Power doesnt respect weakness. Power only respects Power.
# Alton # Castile
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 8, 2016
Long also quoted prominent Black Lives Matter activist Jay Morrison, tweeting, “Yes The Govt is a hate Group, They Hate Black People.”
"Yes The Govt is a hate Group, They Hate Black People" —@MrJayMorrison
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 10, 2016
On Long’s YouTube page, which touts 474 subscribers, are videos about everything from nutrition to how to “keep your woman in check.”
After the mass murder of Dallas police officers, Long, who says he was in Dallas at the time, posted a particularly threatening video to his YouTube page promoting the idea that revolutions are successful through “bloodshed” not protesting.
“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,” Long said in the video posted below. “Zero have been successful just over protesting. It has never worked and it never will.”
FACT 2: Long never lived in Louisiana and no ties to the city.
While it’s still not known exactly why Long carried out his attack on Baton Rouge police, we can conclude that he had no obvious ties to the southern city.
Long graduated from Grandview High School in 2005 and was currently living in Grandview, Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star. He had also lived in his hometown, Kansas City.
FACT 3: Long drove 762 miles in a rental car to carry out his attack.
According to ABC News, Long apparently rented a car and drove 12 hours and over 760 miles from Kansas City to Baton Rouge to murder police officers.
FACT 4: Long saw himself as a “sovereign citizen,” believed he was exempt from federal laws, and was affiliated with a group deemed a domestic threat.
While going out of his way to disavow any connection to an organization, Long did appear to have ties to several anti-America groups.
According to CNN, police found a membership card for the black sovereign citizen group called the Washitaw Nation of Mu’urs on Long’s body. The group’s ever-growing membership believe the government is corrupt and they are therefore exempt from paying state and federal taxes and are wholly free from following any federal and state laws. The FBI has classified Washitaw Nation as a domestic terrorist threat.
Additionally, Long recently declared himself a sovereign citizen according to public records filed with the Jackson County recorder of deeds.
FACT 5: Long was honorably discharged from the U.S. military in 2010.
Military records confirm Long joined the Marines out of high school, serving from August 22, 2005, to August 21, 2010. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant.
Records show that Long served a tour in Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. He was a data network specialist in the Marines. Long received several medals for his service, including Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3rd Award), and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Perhaps Long learned to shoot from long distances during his infantry training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California.
FACT 6: Long’s attack was a well-planned ambush.
Long was first described by police as a “black male with body armor,” wearing black fatigues, a mask, and firing a semi-automatic rifle.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2016
As Breitbart News reported, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden told CNN News that the recent cop killers are aiming for the officers’ heads in an effort to flat-out avoid their body armor.
Col. Mike Edmonson with the Louisiana State Police, called Long’s attack an “ambush” and said Long “certainly was seeking out police.”
“His movements, his direction, his attention was on police officers,” Edmonson said at a press conference.
Fact 7: Long dropped out of college and traveled to Africa where he said he found Islam.
Long was listed as a Dean’s List student at the University of Alabama in 2012, according to the University of Alabama’s website. Long had made the school’s Dean’s List in 2012. He was a student there for just one semester.
An entry on Long’s website says he dropped out of college, sold his cars, gave away his belongings, and moved to his “ancestral homeland” of Africa. Once there, he wrote three books — the same books he claimed to be giving away in Dallas earlier this month.
As Breitbart News reported, Long had been affiliated with the Nation of Islam. He boasted in one of his YouTube rants: “I also was a Nation of Islam member.”
In May, Long said that he had been living in Africa for two years.
Was Away for 2 yrs living like a King in Afrika, Just Getting Back to Social Media # Starting Fresh! 🌅🌅🌍🌍🌞🌞💯💯
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) May 10, 2016
“While he was in Africa, he had talked about how he found Islam and he was writing a book,” a former high school classmate of Long’s told the Kansas City Star. “He had kind of — I wouldn’t call it gone off the rocker — but it was a little weird.”
Last month, Long wished his “Muslim brothers and sisters” a “Happy Ramadan.”
HAPPY RAMADAN 2016 to all my Muslim brothers and sisters (nearly 2 billion) around the world. Love your culture & principles!
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) June 7, 2016
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.