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This Is What We Know About The Man Who Shot Six Baton Rouge Police Officers

Gavin Long, 29, was killed in a shootout with police on Sunday.

Last updated on July 18, 2016, at 5:46 p.m. ET

Posted on July 17, 2016, at 6:53 p.m. ET

A Missouri man and Marine veteran who served in Iraq was killed by police on Sunday after he fatally shot three officers and injured three others. In his vast online presence, he described himself as someone upset with the police killing black men, a life guru, and a person concerned with government surveillance.

The shooter was identified as Gavin Long, and Sunday, the day of the attack, was his 29th birthday.

Long was from Kansas City, Missouri, and it wasn't immediately clear when he traveled to Baton Rouge.

Though state police believe that Long was in Baton Rouge for at least 3-4 days prior to the shootout on Sunday.

State Rep. Ted James tells @BuzzFeedNews that, in briefing w local officials, state police said Gavin Long was in city for at least 3-4 days

Long served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005–10, including a deployment to Iraq, officials said.

Long was a sergeant and a data network specialist, a Marines spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. His awards included the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. He deployed to Iraq for seven months in June 2008, and spent much of his career assigned to Marine locations in Okinawa and Southern California.In the latest installment of Long's podcast Convos With Cosmo he talked about not backing down from a fight or argument. He discussed his time as a Marine in San Diego and an incident where he got into a dispute with his superiors and "did not back down." For this reason, he said he has been "blacklisted from getting employment since I got out of the Marines."I also had a friend tell me that the government threatened him not associate to closely with me. Essentially it's isolation. They don’t want the spirit of courage to spread. Because their whole gimmick is fear."
Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo / Via Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo

Long was a sergeant and a data network specialist, a Marines spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. His awards included the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

He deployed to Iraq for seven months in June 2008, and spent much of his career assigned to Marine locations in Okinawa and Southern California.

In the latest installment of Long's podcast Convos With Cosmo he talked about not backing down from a fight or argument. He discussed his time as a Marine in San Diego and an incident where he got into a dispute with his superiors and "did not back down." For this reason, he said he has been "blacklisted from getting employment since I got out of the Marines.

"I also had a friend tell me that the government threatened him not associate to closely with me. Essentially it's isolation. They don’t want the spirit of courage to spread. Because their whole gimmick is fear."

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On social media, Long went by Cosmo and described himself as a life coach, nutritionist, and personal trainer.

In other podcasts and blog entries, Long discussed being an "alpha male," "keeping your woman in check," and tips for "seducing women correctly so you can seal the deal."Court records show Long had been married; he and his wife divorced in 2011.
Instagram: @convoswithcosmo / Via Instagram: @convoswithcosmo

In other podcasts and blog entries, Long discussed being an "alpha male," "keeping your woman in check," and tips for "seducing women correctly so you can seal the deal."

Court records show Long had been married; he and his wife divorced in 2011.

He petitioned to legally change his name to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra and once identified himself as a national of the United Washitaw De Dugdahmoundyah Mu'ur Nation.

The document was published by the Kansas City Star and dated May 19, 2015.

The Washitaw Nation is a group of black Americans who call themselves citizens of a sovereign nation within the U.S. The group ties the ancestry to indigenous Americans and claims historical ownership over land in Louisiana. Four Washitaw Nation members in New Orleans were arrested earlier this year on suspicion of trespassing after neighbors said they were squatting in a house they did not own.

Sahib Taylor, a 22-year-old who told BuzzFeed News he is Long’s nephew, said that he hopes his uncle's actions don't inspire others to “hate more, to fight more."

Taylor says he first met his uncle when he was 16, after Long returned from serving in the Marine Corps. Taylor said he is the son of Gavin Long’s sister, Kim Long, and that he is the grandson of Gavin Long’s mother, Corine Woodey. A July 11th email sent by a Cosmo Setepenra — Long’s pen name and the name he later legally petitioned to change — was obtained by BuzzFeed News. One of the 17 recipients was Gmail account belonging to a Sahib Taylor. “And there may seem like that whatever he [Gavin Long] did might have been something very malicious and just terrible. Honestly, what I feel like he did, wasn’t the answer, because to me, violence doesn’t need to be the answer, or an answer in reaction to violence. But instead, it should really be based on love,” Taylor said, adding that he last saw Long months ago, and that Long wished to see him before his birthday this Sunday, the day of the shooting. Taylor hopes that Long’s actions are not an “inspiration” or an “invitation” to “hate more, to fight more,” and “to kill more.”“That’s not the answer. Violence is not the answer. More violence is not the answer or a answer. It is love. It is divine love. It is oneness. It is unity, not separateness.”
Facebook: http://sy.m.taylor / Via facebook.com

Taylor says he first met his uncle when he was 16, after Long returned from serving in the Marine Corps. Taylor said he is the son of Gavin Long’s sister, Kim Long, and that he is the grandson of Gavin Long’s mother, Corine Woodey.

A July 11th email sent by a Cosmo Setepenra — Long’s pen name and the name he later legally petitioned to change — was obtained by BuzzFeed News. One of the 17 recipients was Gmail account belonging to a Sahib Taylor.

“And there may seem like that whatever he [Gavin Long] did might have been something very malicious and just terrible. Honestly, what I feel like he did, wasn’t the answer, because to me, violence doesn’t need to be the answer, or an answer in reaction to violence. But instead, it should really be based on love,” Taylor said, adding that he last saw Long months ago, and that Long wished to see him before his birthday this Sunday, the day of the shooting.

Taylor hopes that Long’s actions are not an “inspiration” or an “invitation” to “hate more, to fight more,” and “to kill more.”

“That’s not the answer. Violence is not the answer. More violence is not the answer or a answer. It is love. It is divine love. It is oneness. It is unity, not separateness.”

In two tweets in April, Long posted a video that appeared to show him being pulled over by a police officer in Los Angeles. He is heard saying, "Here it is. Getting pulled over again. Her excuse was I stopped beyond the line or something, I don't know. I stopped beyond a line. I don't know what that means, but yeah, getting harassed again in LA."

Black men in nice cars must be illegal now in L.A. @JonnyBones I feel your pain SMH SMH

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The officer appeared to have let him off with a warning, saying, "It'll probably be in your best interest not to have an attitude with a police officer." Long responded: "Ok, I'm a black man and somebody pull me over saying that I stopped beyond the line or something. That's a reason to cop an attitude as a black man because you get harassed multiple times for little small infractions that you guys are saying are laws. I stopped, I looked, it was safe, I went. I mean I have a brain and I'm gonna use it."

Pt. 2 of L.A. harrassment. Looks exactly the same as this. @JonnyBones https://t.co/1wuNac7jhi

In his tweets, Long tagged Jon Jones, an MMA fighter and UFC champion who alleged that he had been racially profiled by an Albuquerque police officer during a traffic stop.

Long described himself as a vegetarian, and in videos discussed healthy eating.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Long's self-described journey to spiritual awakening began when he was 16 and lost 80 pounds, he said in a recent video. He said this made him "disciplined" and that he carried that to the Marines.

After leaving the military, Long wrote in a website promoting his work, he got an associate's degree in General Studies at Central Texas College and afterward attended Clark Atlanta University for three semesters before having a "spiritual revelation." He dropped out of college, sold his two cars, he said, and gave away "all of his material possessions" to travel in Africa.

He also said he began abstaining from sex and starting fasting. He wrote three books while he was in Africa.

In many posts he expressed anger over the police shootings of black men.

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?

Long also said bloodshed was the only way to win against oppression.

“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors, from victims fighting their bullies, 100% have been successful through fighting back through bloodshed," he said in one video. "Zero have been successful through simply protesting. It has never been successful and it never will.”

He also referred to himself as an alpha male who was unafraid of taking that step.

“If y'all want to keep protesting, do that," he said, "but for the serious ones, the real ones, the alpha ones, we know what it's going to take."

He also praised Micah Johnson, who fatally shot five police officers in Dallas.

Though Long spoke about protesting, he also made clear he was not part of any specific group or movement. He was not Muslim, though he had been exposed to the religion's practices and principles, he said in a post during Ramadan. In a post July 8, Long said he didn't want to be affiliated with any groups. "I made my own decisions, I'm the one who gotta listen to the judgement. That's it and my heart is pure."
Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo / Via Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo

Though Long spoke about protesting, he also made clear he was not part of any specific group or movement. He was not Muslim, though he had been exposed to the religion's practices and principles, he said in a post during Ramadan.

In a post July 8, Long said he didn't want to be affiliated with any groups.

"I made my own decisions, I'm the one who gotta listen to the judgement. That's it and my heart is pure."

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In his final tweet, posted hours before the shooting, Long hinted that he wasn't afraid of death.

He also said in a video that he would not let himself be arrested."I know they would try to arrest me, and I know I would die there because I won't let them kidnap me," he said.
Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo / Via Twitter: @ConvosWithCosmo

He also said in a video that he would not let himself be arrested.

"I know they would try to arrest me, and I know I would die there because I won't let them kidnap me," he said.

One video was recently filmed in Dallas, he said. The footage captures him talking wildly as men in a barbershop look on.

My bodycam footage of me in Dallas out in them streets educating our people pt2 # Stand Tall, Stand Wild, Stand Free

Long also appears to have commented on the website stoporgangstalking.com: a blog about “organized gang stalking” and other forms of harassment such as “group stalking, workplace mobbing, psychological abuse/torture/menticide, sexual harassment, [and] noise harassment.”

The website has 71 comments dating back to 2014 with people sharing their experiences of various forms of stalking. Under the name Cosmo, Long listed three solutions to deal with stalking:

"I’ve got solution’s.

Lets all start:

1. Wearing Body Camera’s

2. Before you move into neighborhood, put every house on notice to what gang stalking is with link’s to websites & videos & program names. And Let them know your situation, standing & your philosophy on life

3. Start telling the companies’s, worker’s, & managers & owners that we are going to expose your involvement and rate your poor performances & games on the internet on sites like Yelp, Google Map’s & the Yellow Pages etc. as horrible service & accessories to Gang Stalking. (Not only will this spread the word to others who view the businesses, but will inform fellow [targeted individuals] as well)"

It is unclear who or what gang, entity, or form of technology Long believed he was being stalked by.

On Monday, Long sent an email to contacts expressing his thoughts about the Baton Rouge police shooting of Alton Sterling.

Peace Family,

The spirit brought me something today that I haven't heard one person ask yet.

And that is to demand to see the bodycam video from Alton Sterlin's shooting. Yes they said the body cam fell off (and so allegedly thats why we couldnt see the shooting), but we (the people) still have a right to see the video no matter what happened. Let us see what was recorded anyway! We cant just take their word! If 2 body camera's fell off then Let us see the videos with the body Cameras falling off (IF THATS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED).

This is why they treat us like shit, because (1) they can tell us anything and we will accept it without questioning it, and (2) we dont stand on our rights. We must STOP being (quote un quote) Adults, Meaning, we must get back to our childlike curiosity.

Think about it, never can you satisfy a normal child with just one answer to his question. The child continues to ask more questions once he receives an answer. However we as adults just take one answer and walk away with whatever answer someone gives us. Hell No! We have to quit this immediately! You continue asking questions until you get to the bottom of it! Question their answers.

Get out of that 'adult mindset' and get back into your 'childlike mindset' where you are still curious. Still searching. Still seeking. Thats how we are suppose to be forever. So remember this principle for the next incident or the next time they wanna give their half-ass answers.

Question Everything...EVEN THE ANSWER THEY GIVE YOU!

Cosmo Setepenra
"Stand Tall. Stand Wild. Stand Free."

Long was never a speaker for a "holistic cruise" that he promoted on his website, a cruise producer told BuzzFeed News.

Cosmo Global / Via cosmoglobal.org!events--workshops/cg5v

Long recently discussed his book A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People Vol. 1 The Detox on Lance Scurv's YouTube show.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Scurv told BuzzFeed News that Long had reached out to him to call into the show.

"The Cosmo that I know, maybe did the show two times or three times," Scurv said. "He was kind of aggressive, not aggressive where he was disrespectful, but a little heated in a debate."

Scurv added he didn't know Long on a deep level, but he did receive the email about Long's thoughts on the Baton Rouge police shooting of Sterling.

"It wasn’t strange, but I got the feeling I wouldn’t be hearing from him a while."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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