Some details about the gunman began to emerge late Sunday: Officials identified him as Gavin Long, an African-American military veteran. According to military records released by the Marine Corps, Mr. Long served as a data network specialist and was a sergeant when he left the Marines in 2010. He enlisted in his hometown, Kansas City, Mo., in 2005, and was deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009, his records show. They also show a number of commendations, including the Good Conduct Medal.
On a social media site registered under the name Gavin Long, a young African-American man who refers to himself as “Cosmo” posted videos and podcasts and shared biographical and personal information that aligned with the information that the authorities had released, so far, about the gunman.
In one YouTube video, titled, “Protesting, Oppression and How to Deal with Bullies,” the man discusses the killings of African-American men at the hands of police officers, including the July 5 death here of Alton B. Sterling, and he advocates a bloody response instead of the protests that the deaths sparked.
“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t — it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.”
“You’ve got to stand on your rights, just like George Washington did, just like the other white rebels they celebrate and salute did,” he added. “That’s what Nat Turner did. That’s what Malcolm did. You got to stand, man. You got to sacrifice.”
In one of a string of podcasts the man posted, titled, “My Story,” he expounded on the recurrence of the number seven in his life. “My father was born in 1947. My mother was born in 1957. And I took physical form on 7/17/87.”