Citing law enforcement and military sources, CBS News has identified the deceased gunman who killed three police officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge on Sunday as 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long, a former Marine who used the pseudonym “Cosmo Setepenra” online.
The Guardian uncovered additional evidence that Long was Setepenra, whose website was registered in Long’s name and whose author profile on Amazon says he left the Marines as a sergeant, the same rank CBS News reports Long attained before being honorably discharged in 2010.
Online, Cosmo Setepenra presented himself as a spiritual advisor and life coach who often spoke about alpha males (identifying himself as an “alpha preneur”) and exacting “justice (blood)” to end police oppression of black people. From The Guardian:
Video footage posted on the Setepenra Facebook page earlier this month appeared to show the owner of the account in Dallas, Texas, where five police officers had been killed by a gunman at the end of a protest against the excessive use of force by law enforcement.
In a video separately posted to YouTube on 10 July in the name of Cosmo Setepenra, the speaker said he was making the clip in Dallas. He compared the fighting of oppression by black people to the efforts of American revolutionaries.
“But when an African fights back, it’s wrong,” according to mainstream thought, he said. “You gotta fight back – that’s the only way a bully knows to quit.”
On Twitter, Setepenra advocated violent resistance, writing, “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?”
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.— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 17, 2016
Early reports connected Long to an alleged anti-government organization called the “New Freedom Group,” but on July 8, Setepenra posted a video on YouTube declaring he was “not affiliated with anyone,” including the Nation of Islam or ISIS, “if anything happens with me.”
“I thought my own thoughts, I made my own decisions,” said Setepenra. “I’m the one who’s gotta listen to the judgment.”