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Man who shot dead three police officers was a US Marine who served in Iraq

Barack Obama condemned the shootings “in the strongest sense of the word” and said attacks on “public servants” have to stop.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has called for calm in the wake of yesterday’s fatal shootings of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Obama’s call comes as details of the man responsible for the shootings came to light.

Obama condemned the shootings “in the strongest sense of the word” and said attacks on “public servants” have to stop.

“We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None. These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”

The suspect has been named as Gavin Eugene Long, a 29-year-old African American US Marine who served in Afghanistan.

Long served in the US Marines for five years starting in August 2005 as a data network specialist, and attained the rank of sergeant, according to his military personnel file. His Iraq tour lasted from June 2008 to January 2009.

At a Kansas City, Missouri address where Long was believed to have lived, a man confronted two local journalists by opening the door holding an AK-47 assault rifle, Fox4 reporter Megan Brilley said.

A Jackson County, Kansas court document showed that Long successfully applied to have his name legally changed to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra.

Tweets

Police Shot Baton Rouge Source: Gerald Herbert

Many of the posts on Setepenra’s Twitter feed targeted white people.

After the Dallas shooting, an 8 July post read: “The Shooter was NOT WHITE, He was one of us! # My religion is Justice @tariqnasheed@ZoWilliams@thecoreyholcomb.”

“Have u ever seen white people march for the things they needed?” read a July 11 post.

On 13 July, he wrote: “Violence is not THE answer (its a answer), but at what point do you stand up so that your people don’t become the Native Americans…EXTINCT?”

One of the officers killed by Long — Montrell Jackson — was black. The other two were identified by US media as Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola.

Long’s birthday was yesterday, the day he chose to kill the police officers.

In an ominous tweet posted just minutes after midnight the night before the shooting, he wrote: “Just bc you wake up every morning doesn’t mean that you’re living. And just bc you shed your physical body doesn’t mean that you’re dead.”

Baton Rouge has been on edge since the shooting dead of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in the city.

- © AFP, 2016

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