Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long briefly attended college in Atlanta

Years before Gavin Eugene Long set out to ambush police in Baton Rouge, the gunman who would go on to kill three officers and wound three others was briefly an Atlanta college student.

Clark Atlanta confirmed in a statement issued Monday that Long was enrolled as a student there during the 2012-13 school year, but students, alumni and professors contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did not know him. In online bios, Long said he was a dean's list student at the school for a year and a half who dropped out after having a spiritual revelation.

In a statement, the university said it “categorically denounces this heinous act as it transgresses the institution’s core values and the very underpinnings of our institutional mission.”

Clark Atlanta officials initially denied a request by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a copy of Long’s student record, but released his transcript after the paper reminded the university that federal rules governing privacy of student records do not apply to the deceased.

The Clark Atlanta transcript shows that Long, who turned 29 on the day of the shooting, was in good standing during his time at the school, and ended his two semesters there with a 2.87 GPA.

He took Spanish and math classes, as well as requirements in English, history and biology. As an elective, Long took African-Centered Psychology.

Timothy Moore, who had taught the class in the past, left the university before Long arrived and did not know him. The class, he said, was a way to look at the study of psychology more broadly than the Euro-centric treatment it usually gets.

Online, Atlanta University Center students expressed frustration with the connection to Clark Atlanta, emphasizing that the school had nothing to do with his views.

One Clark Atlanta student, who identifies himself as Saan, said in a tweet that Long said in a video he “had no affiliation with any businesses other than (h)is own.”

A graduate from Morehouse who identifies himself as Drake from Canada tweeted that “CAU had no influence on his decisions.”

Prior to his time at Clark Atlanta, Long attended classes at the University of Alabama for one semester in the spring of 2012. No one from the school returned a call seeking comment about Long’s time there. At the time of the shooting, Long was a Kansas City, Mo. resident.

Like veteran Micah Xavier Johnson, who shot and killed five officers in Dallas, Long, identified as the lone shooter in the attack, had also served in the military. He was a former Marine, who served from 2005 to 2010, as a data network specialist earning the rank of sergeant. Long was deployed to Iraq for about six months in June 2008, according to information made available from the Marine Corps.

Long, who used the pseudonym Cosmo Setepenra online and sought to make it his name last year, wrote three books about detoxing and self-awareness. Amazon has since taken them down. Long posted online as a spiritual advisor and life coach.

In documents seeking the name change, Long also referred to himself as a member of a black separatist group known as the Washitaw Nation.

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