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Coping with PTSD: A Baton Rouge Police Shooter's Story

Veteran News
Veteran News
August 31, 2016
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The former Marine who ambushed and killed three Baton Rouge police offers in July never saw combat in Iraq but told a Veterans Health Administration doctor he suffered from PTSD from Youtube videos.The horrible videos of maimed and decapitated bodies hurt Gavin Long so much that he was diagnosed with an “adjustment disorder with depressed mood” by the VA docs.He was not diagnosed with PTSD.The doctors also noted that Gavin Long avoided war movies, and was “unable to experience tenderness, loving feelings.”


Gavin Long Thought He Had PTSD From Watching Gory Youtube Videos

Prior to shooting and killing three law enforcement officers and wounding three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Gavin Long had posted rambling internet videos calling for violence against police officers.The shootings were in response to police treatment of African-Americans. Long called this treatment “oppression.”The two Baton Rouge officers were 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, 41-year-old Matthew Gerald and 45-year-old Brad Garafola.Gavin Long served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010. He deployed to Iraq in 2008 as a data network specialist. He told the VA doctors he saw casualties after they were hurt but did not fight in any direct combat.His VA file details an inability to fall asleep, an avoidance of crowds and intense suspicion of others.“He feels sad but claims he does not know what he feels sad about,” the medical file said.His doctor wrote that he had informed Gavin Long that he did not meet the criteria for PTSD. Long was prescribed the antidepressant citalopram regardless.Other VA medical exams show that he denied ever having any mental health symptoms or readjustment issues.Gavin Long’s mother told PBS that he would “pretty much lose it” whenever he heard about a black man being shot by police in a way he viewed as unlawful.The shooting in Baton Rouge was the second shooting of law enforcement officers in July 2016.

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