Sniper kills 5 police officers in Dallas, suspect identified

Sniper kills 5 police officers in Dallas, suspect identified
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Five Police officers in Dallas, United States of America are dead — four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — in what authorities called a sniper ambush on police officers at the end of a peaceful protest against nationwide officer-involved shootings Thursday night.

The ambush began with gunshots that killed five officers and sent screaming crowds scrambling for cover. It ended when a Dallas police bomb squad robot killed a gunman after negotiations failed.

Investigators identified the dead attacker as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson of Mesquite, Texas, a military veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.

Police said they searched his home Friday afternoon and found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. Investigators are analyzing information in the journal, a police statement said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday afternoon that investigators determined Johnson was “the lone shooter in this incident,” confirming what federal officials had told CNN.

“This was a mobile shooter who had written manifestos on how to shoot and move, shoot and move, and that’s what he did,” Rawlings said at a news conference. “As we’ve started to unravel this fishing knot, we’ve come to realize this shooting came from one building at different levels.”

Rawlings stressed that other people may have been involved in planning the attack.

Dallas police Chief David Brown spoke at a prayer rally on Friday and said: “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.”

Nobody has been charged, Gov. Greg Abbott said, but police want to make sure every lead is investigated.

The deadly gunfire erupted in Dallas after videos showing two African-American men shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota spurred protests and debate over police use of force across the country.

Five police officers were killed and seven others were wounded in the ambush. It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Two civilians were hurt, the Dallas mayor’s office said.

As officials condemned the attack, details emerged about the man who died after a lengthy standoff with police in a parking garage.

Johnson told police negotiators that he was upset about recent police shootings, that he wanted to kill white people — especially white officers — and that he acted alone, the city’s police chief told reporters Friday.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Brown said. “Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”

Johnson had no criminal record or known terror ties, a law enforcement official said.

He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015, training as a carpentry and masonry specialist, according to records released by the Pentagon. Johnson was deployed for about seven months in Afghanistan, from late 2013 to mid-2014, and recevied an honorary discharge.

Wayne Bynoe, a neighbor, said police cars were outside Johnson’s home Friday. Johnson lived with his mother and kept to himself, Bynoe said.

Johnson had at least two weapons with him — a rifle and a handgun, two law enforcement officials said.

One of the officials, familiar with the latest information from the Dallas police investigation, said the rifle was an SKS semi-automatic. The other official said Johnson legally bought multiple firearms in the past.

Dallas police said in a statement Friday that investigators discovered rifles and ammunition in Johnson’s house.

He was the “lone gunman,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said.