Dallas sniper shooting: 5 police officers slain, suspect ID’d as Army vet Micah Johnson
The deceased have been identified as Dallas police officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa and Michael Smith and Dallas transit officer Brent Thompson.
“The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at a news conference. “The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings.”
Investigators were seen leaving a home Friday in a Dallas suburb where Johnson apparently lived with his mother.
Johnson allegedly opened fire Thursday night on what had up to that point been a peaceful demonstration over the police-shooting deaths of black men this week in Minnesota and Louisiana.
The hail of gunfire sent hundreds of demonstrators screaming in terror, and a police manhunt culminated with the suspect cornered by police in a downtown parking garage. After attempted negotiations failed, Brown said police sent in the robot bomb as a last resort to protect more officers from harm.
Robotics expert Peter W. Singer told the Associated Press he believes this is the first instance of a robot being used to kill a suspect.
Brown said that during the standoff, Johnson told officers he was acting alone, but police said investigators are still trying to determine whether there were other potential assailants. The chief declined to provide specifics. A woman and two men were detained overnight, but police have not revealed if they were connected to the ambush.
“Through our investigation of some of the suspects, it’s revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well thought out, evil tragedy by these suspects,” Brown said at a Friday afternoon vigil. “And we won’t rest until we bring everyone to justice.”
A profile of Johnson began to emerge Friday as media outlets dug into public records and scoured his social-media profile pages for possible clues as to what triggered the deadly attack.
Johnson, according to military records, served in the Army Reserve from March 2009 until April 2015. He was a carpentry and masonry specialist, the records show. He was deployed to Afghanistan in November 2013 and July 2014, which earned him a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among other awards.
A Facebook photo dated April 30 of this year shows Johnson with Professor Griff of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, known for its politically charged music and critique of police treatment of the African-American community. A 1989 single titled “Fight the Power” is the group’s best-known song. Griff took to Twitter Friday to deny any relationship with the alleged shooter.
October 2010 photos on Johnson’s mother’s Facebook page show a young man dressed in U.S. Army fatigues posing with a pistol. Johnson’s most recent address is listed as a home belonging to his mother, located in the suburb of Mesquite, about 20 miles outside downtown Dallas.