Dallas police chief: gunman was planning larger attacks

More than 250 arrested in nationwide protests over fatal police shootings of black men

Dallas police chief David Brown: “We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans.”  Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Dallas police chief David Brown: “We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans.” Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

 

The gunman who killed five police officers in a sniper ambush in Dallas last week was plotting larger attacks, the city’s police chief David Brown has said.

More clues emerged over the weekend about plans being hatched by Micah Xavier Johnson (25), the former US army reservist from Mesquite, Texas who perpetrated the worst targeted attack on US law enforcement officers in modern times.

Pointing to bomb-making materials and a journal found in the gunman’s home showing that he had been practising detonations, Mr Brown said Johnson appeared to be preparing to attack larger targets in Dallas with “devastating effects on our city”.

“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans,” the police chief told CNN, adding that the gunman may have expedited his plans in retaliation for the fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota last week.

Mr Brown said Johnson planned to “make us [police] pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of colour,” elaborating on the gunman’s stated motives to police before he was killed by a “bomb robot” after a four-hour standoff.

Taunts

Police are still trying to decipher what Johnson intended to communicate when he wrote the lettering “RB” in his own blood on a wall in a car park where he was cornered by police before his death in the early hours of last Friday morning.

He strongly defended the decision of police to use a bomb mounted on a robot to kill the gunman, believed by criminal justice and legal experts to be the first time that US law enforcement has used a remote controlled explosive device to kill a suspect.

“He was secreted behind a brick corner and the only way to get a sniper shot to end his trying to kills us would be to expose officers to grave danger,” Mr Brown said.

Risk to police

More than 250 protesters were arrested in St Paul, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana on a third night of nationwide protests as Black Lives Matter activists took to the streets in response to the fatal police shooting of black men.

Twenty-one officers were injured by Molotov cocktails, rocks and fireworks thrown by protesters in Minnesota. In Baton Rouge, police arrested DeRay McKesson, a prominent member of Black Lives Matter, and more than 120 others on Saturday as activists continued to vent their anger on the streets over last week’s killings, despite the attack on police in Dallas. He was charged with obstructing a highway.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has challenged President Barack Obama’s remarks at the Nato summit in Poland on Saturday, denying the president’s view that America is “not as divided as some have suggested”.

“He is living in a world of make believe!” Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon.