The criminal who killed three officers and wounded three more in a deadly ambush in Louisiana was a Marine veteran- who killed another Marine veteran in the exchange of gunfire.
Of the three police officers slain in the recent Baton Rouge shootings, 41-year-old Matthew Gerald served in the United States Marines, as well as a UH-60 Blackhawk crew member with the United States Army.
Gerald was killed when he was and several other officers were caught up in an ambush by 29-year-old Marine veteran Gavin Eugene Long, who drove from Kansas City, MO to conduct the ambush on his birthday.
According to Heavy, Officer Gerald had only been a police officer for a short time, with a mere 12 days of solo patrol time under his belt the day he was killed.
Gerald had served in Iraq, where former comrade Ryan C. Cabral regarded him as a memorable person.
“Whether it was the energy he carried with him or that Cajun accent he had . . . maybe it was the Marine in him,” Cabral said.
Gerald was a married father of two daughters, one of which he adopted from his wife’s pre-existing relationship. He and his wife Dechia had just celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary and she had recently expressed concern for his safety.
The other two officers killed in the line of duty have been identified as Montrell Jackson and Brad Garafola.
The shooter has been identified as former Marine Sergeant Gavin Eugene Long, who has been affiliated with the Nation of Islam and Black Lives Matter organizations. According to reports from the Daily Mail, he appears to have been in Dallas a short time after US Army veteran Micah Johnson carried out his own ambush- an act that Long reportedly praised.
In the early hours of his 29th birthday, Long took a rental car to Baton Rouge from Missouri, bringing black clothing, a ski mask and a semi-automatic rifle with him. Later that morning, he would ambush police after drawing them in.
In addition to being a Marine veteran, Long was also a self-styled fitness and lifestyle guru who went under the pseudonym “Cosmo Setepenra.” He claimed to have went to Africa and had violently Afrocentric leanings as well as a fascination with conspiracy theories.
According to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Department of Justice will provide full support of the federal government in the investigation, as well as federal funding and support to the victims.
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