An Army veteran “upset about Black Lives Matter” and “recent police shootings” who opened fire Thursday night in Dallas in an attack on police officers has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson.
According to corroborated reports, five police officers were killed and seven were wounded and two civilians were also wounded in the attack. Johnson, 25, was killed when a police robot detonated a bomb near him following a standoff that lasted several hours.
“The suspect said he was upset with white people and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” Police Chief David Brown said Friday at a press conference.
Although there were initial reports that there were other possible gunmen, police have not yet confirmed that aspect of the story. Police initially said two snipers positioned themselves in “triangulated” locations to fire on officers from “elevated positions.”
The gunfire began just before 9 p.m. while a peaceful rally was held by Black Lives Matter in response to recent the recent police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The gunman was then cornered in a parking garage at El Centro College in downtown Dallas.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Johnson had no known criminal history or ties to terror groups, the official said, and has relatives in Mesquite, Texas, which is just east of Dallas.The official said federal agents were assisting Dallas authorities in the investigation.
Authorities believe Johnson belonged to an informal gun club and took copious amounts of target practice, according to a law enforcement official.
Micah Xavier Johnson doesn't reflect all black & brown people. Just like the argument of "cops who commit murder don't reflect all cops."
— Fuzzy Slippers (@JCNoHunnidz) July 8, 2016
— La Koshia R. Roberts (@Reconda41) July 8, 2016
“The suspect said we will eventually find the IEDs,” Brown said, a reference to explosives. “He wanted to kill officers. And he expressed killing white people, killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter.”
“We saw no other option than to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension to detonate where the suspect was,” Brown said, adding that, “other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.”
Brown said reports that the suspect shot himself were incorrect. “The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb,” he said.