Dallas Sniper Attack: 5 Officers Killed, Suspect Identified

Dallas Sniper Attack: 5 Officers Killed, Suspect Identified

(CNN)The ambush started 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 Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, Texas, a military veteran who'd served in Afghanistan.

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

    Investigators determined Johnson was "the lone shooter in this incident," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, 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 said investigators' initial confusion about the number of shooters was partly because about 20 protesters wearing protective vests and carrying rifles scattered when the shooting started.

    Authorities said three suspects were in custody earlier Friday, but later told CNN they had been questioned and released.

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    'Well-planned' attack

    Dallas police Chief David Brown provided more details during a prayer rally Friday.

    "Through our investigation of some of the suspects, it's revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well-thought-out, evil tragedy," he said.

    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 wounded in the ambush. It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Two civilians were also hurt, the Dallas mayor's office said.

    Dallas Police 'Ambush': 12 Officers Shot, 5 Killed During Protest - NBC News

    Dallas Police 'Ambush': 12 Officers Shot, 5 Killed During Protest - NBC News

    Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Showed Interest in Black Nationalist Groups

    Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Showed Interest in Black Nationalist Groups

    Johnson killed by bomb

    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 police chief said.

    "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 Pentagon records. Johnson was deployed for about seven months in Afghanistan, from late 2013, and received an honorable discharge.

    Johnson's neighbor, Wayne Bynoe, said police cars were outside his 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.

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    The attack

    Witnesses said protesters were marching peacefully in downtown Dallas when the gunfire started Thursday night.

    The Rev. Jeff Hood, one of the protest organizers, said he saw two officers go down, then watched a sergeant running toward the gunfire.

    "I ran the opposite direction. I was concerned about the 700 or 800 people behind me," he said. "I was screaming, 'Run! Run! Active shooter! Run!' And I was trying to get folks out as fast as I could."

    Crowds ran into a parking garage, witnesses said, and spilled out after word spread a sniper was nearby.

    "Everyone was screaming, people were running," said witness Clarissa Myles. "I saw at least probably 30 shots go off."

    Police initially said at least two snipers fired "ambush-style" from an "elevated position" before they exchanged gunfire and negotiated with a suspect, later identified as Johnson, for hours at a parking garage in downtown Dallas.

    Before authorities killed him with an explosive, Johnson told negotiators more officers were going to get hurt, and that bombs were planted all over downtown.

    Police found no explosives during sweeps of the area, Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron said.

    The victims

    The five slain officers were identified on Friday.

    Dallas Police Officers Lorne Ahrens, a 14-year veteran of the department, and Michael Smith, a 27-year veteran, were both killed, according to local media reports and Smith's sister, who spoke to CNN affiliate KFDM.

    Police officers shot, at least 5 killed in sniper attack in Dallas - Business Insider

    Police officers shot, at least 5 killed in sniper attack in Dallas - Business Insider

    CNN affiliate WDIV said Dallas officer Michael Krol was killed. The last two officers were Dallas officer Patrick Zamarripa and DART Police officer Brent Thompson.

    Police have said at least 10 officers were shot by a sniper and one officer was shot in a shootout at the parking garage. It's not clear where the 12th officer was shot.

    Who are the slain officers?

    A few of the wounded officers remain hospitalized, police said. Brown called for the community to support them.

    "We don't feel much support most days. Let's not make today most days," Brown said. "Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event."

     

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