Dallas killings: Gunman named as army veteran Micah Xavier Johnson
Suspect lived with mother in Dallas suburb and is described by neighbours as a recluse
Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings (right) conducts a press conference at Dallas City Hall as Dallas Police Chief David Brown looks on following the fatal shootings of five police officers on July 8th, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Photograph: Stewart FHouse/Getty Images
Johnson is from Mesquite, Texas, about a 20-minute drive east of downtown Dallas where he is suspected of shooting the police officers and wounding another two civilians during a rampage at the end of a demonstration against the recent police killings of black men.
The young black man served as an army reservist until April 2015 and trained and served in the army serve as a carpentry and masonry specialist, according to US defence officials.
The US Army said that Johnson, who served in the army for almost six years, had completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The man was described by neighbours quoted in US media as a recluse who lived with his mother in the Dallas suburb. The black SUV found at the scene of the shootings was listed as being registered to Delphene Johnson, who is said to be the man’s mother.
Point black range
Video footage recorded by an eyewitness from a nearby hotel showed the vehicle with hazard lights blinking next to where an individual believed to be Johnson fired his assault-style rifle and shot a police officer at point blank range, killing him as he lay on the ground.
Johnson was killed when police used a remote-controlled robot to detonate a bomb next to him after negotiations by police failed following a three-hour standoff.
Dallas police chief David Brown said that the suspect told police that he was upset with the Black Lives Matter, the movement that has led protests across the country against alleged police aggression against black men, and express anger at the killing of black young men by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and in a suburb of St Paul in Minnesota earlier this week.
“None of that makes sense. None of that is a legitimate reason to do harm to anyone,” he said.
The gunman told police that he was not affiliated with any group and that he acted alone in the shootings, which were described by the police chief as a “triangulated” attack.
“The suspect said he was upset with white people and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” Mr Brown told a news conference early today.
Photographs of Johnson in his military uniforms were circulated on social media after he was identified by multiple US media outlets.
Three of the five officers allegedly killed by Johnson were also identified. They are Brent Thompson (43), an officer with the Dallas transit police; Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa (32), a Mexican-American Iraq War veteran and a married father to a two-year-old daughter; and Michael Krol, a native of Michigan who joined the Dallas Police Department in 2007 after working for four years as a prison officer.
“It’s senseless. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened,” said Zamarripa’s mother Maria told the New York Daily News. “We’re devastated. We’re in disbelief.”