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VA: Baton Rouge Shooter Didn’t Have PTSD, He Just Watched A Few Combat Videos

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Dan Chaison Reporter
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The former Marine who gunned down three Baton Rouge police officers July 17 never faced enemy fire during his 2008 tour in Iraq.

Despite his lack of combat experience, Gavin Long told doctors at a Veterans Administration hospital he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder because he watched his friend’s videos of dismembered bodies, according to newly released VA records reported on by the Military Times.

After a November 2011 visit to a VA hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, doctors diagnosed Long with suffering from an emotional disconnect and “adjustment disorder with depressed mood”—not PTSD. Long’s medical records show that his doctor told him “he did not meet the … criteria for PTSD,” according to the Military Times.

At another 2012 visit to a VA medical center in Atlanta Georgia, Long told doctors that he no longer had any mental health issues.

But when news surfaced of the Baton Rouge tragedy, word quickly spread that he had PTSD from his deployment:

“Baton Rouge: Ex-Marine Shooter Who Killed 3 Cops Had PTSD,” declared Democracy Now.

“Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long Suffered from PTSD and called his police attack a ‘necessary evil’ in manifesto,” read a headline from the New York Daily News.

Long was a data network specialist in the Marine Corps, an occupation that involves working with computers and various encrypted communications equipment. He served in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010.

In the wake of various fatal police shootings of African-Americans, Long began demanding violence against police officers in videos he posted online.

The shooting—which took place on Long’s 29th birthday—took the lives of Baton Rouge officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald and Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola.

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