Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City, Mo., was killed after he shot three law enforcement officers to death in Baton Rouge, La., and wounded several others, one critically, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Gunfire erupted around 9 a.m. yesterday on a highway near a convenience store and a beauty supply store. Killed were Baton Rouge officers Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41, and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola, 45. Louisiana state police Col. Mike Edmonson said today that Long “certainly was seeking out police officers,” and he used the word “ambush” to describe the attack, the Associated Press reports.
The shootings came amid ongoing protests in Baton Rouge after the fatal officer-involved shooting of Alton Sterling more than a week ago, and nearly a week after five Dallas police officers were killed by sniper fire. “The rhetoric now needs to be toned down to zero,” said Mayor Kip Holden of East Baton Rouge Parish. “This is not a Wild West town. This is a town of law and order.” The Kansas City Star reports that Long had “anti-government views” and he belonged to “a bizarre offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement and had been associated with the Nation of Islam. He saw police as part of the government and was outraged by the recent spate of police shootings of black men.”