Micah X. Johnson has been named the man responsible for the slaughter of 5 cops on the streets of downtown Dallas. Despite reports, this man is believed to have acted alone, however some believe there were multiple shooters.
Twelve police officers were shot and five killed while working at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas Thursday night, by a gunman who said he carried out the attack to revenge the two police-related deaths of black men this week.
Shots rang out at the previously peaceful protest just before 9pm, and witness video shows marchers screaming and fleeing from the scene in horror.
All five cops killed were men and two have been identified so far: 43-year-old DART Officer Brent Thompson and young young father Patrick Zamarripa.
Around 11pm, cops cornered a suspect at nearby El Centro College and attempted to negotiate with him, but four hours later the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect.
Before he died however, the gunman told the hostage negotiator his motivations behind the attack.
‘The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings of black suspects. He said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,’ Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed at a 7:30am press conference.
Authorities have identified the shooter as Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old from Texas with no criminal history or ties to terror groups. He allegedly claimed to have acted alone, countering previous reports that as many as four gunmen were involved in the massacre. Three other suspects were taken into custody at the scene Thursday night, but Chief Brown refused to go into detail about these arrests. However, he said that his department is still not certain that everyone involved in the attack.
Two of the suspects were taken into custody after fleeing the scene in a black Mercedes. An officer saw one of the pair hurriedly putting a camouflage bag in the back of the car before driving off ‘at a high rate of speed’.
A female, who was in the same area as Johnson, is also custody, however Brown said: ‘We still don’t have complete comfort that we have all the suspects.’
The shooter or shooters opened fire from an ‘elevated position’, picking off officers ‘ambush style’ as they manned a protest over the deaths of two black men – Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana this week, Brown said. ‘Some officers were shot in the back,’ he added.
A gruesome video shows a heroic policeman taking on a suspect, but being gunned down and shot again execution-style from point-blank range.
Before the dead suspect was taken out with a police bomb, he also warned that there were other IEDs hidden around the city. Cops say they have conducted a thorough search however, and believe that the city is safe.
Chief Brown said they used a police robot to drop off and detonate the bomb near the suspect so as to prevent further police casualties.
‘We saw no other option than to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension to detonate where the suspect was,’ Brown said, adding that, ‘other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.’
Previous reports alleged that Johnson had actually killed himself, but Brown said that these were not true.
In an emotional statement before going into detail about the shooting, Brown said that the mass shooting had left his department ‘hurting’.
‘Our profession is hurting. Dallas Officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no works to describe the atrocity that occured to our city. All I know is that this must stop. This deviseveness between our plice and our city,’ Brown said.
He also drew attention to the many witness videos that showed brave police officers running towards the shooting – thinking not of themselves but the safety of the crowds at large.
The police chief went on to say that he and many of his officers don’t feel ‘much support’ from the public on ‘most days’.
‘Let’s not make today most days. Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these who carried out this tragic tragic event. Pray for these families,’ he said.
In a statement from Warsaw, Poland where he is at a NATO summit, President Obama expressed his ‘deepest condolences to the American people’, and warned that he still didn’t know all of the facts of the massacre.
‘They were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests… they were targeted and nearly a dozen officers were shot,’ President Obama said.
‘I believe I speak for every American, when I say we are horrified and stand united with the police department in Dallas.’
President Obama confirmed the FBI is working with Dallas police and said ‘anyone involved will be made accountable… justice will be done.’
He urged the nation to remember to ‘express our profound gratitude for our men and women in blue’.
The shootings have sparked more racial tension in America and mark the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks, when 72 officers died in the line of duty. Americans in major cities nationwide took to the streets on Thursday night to demand answers over the killings of Castile and Sterling.
The DART officer killed, Brent Thompson, joined the department in 2009 and is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1989 when DART (the Dallas public transportation network) formed a police department.
Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, said: ‘As you can imagine, our hearts are broken.’
‘This is something that touches every part of our organization. We have received countless expressions of support and sympathy from around the world through the evening. We are grateful for every message. Thank you.’
It is not known if the shooter or shooters were protesters, however they appear to have been militarily trained with long guns. In an interview with the Today show Friday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said it appeared their motive was to target police officers.
‘Our worst nightmare has happened,’ Rawlings said in another statement. ‘It is a heartbreaking moment for the city of Dallas.’
A second police officer killed in the attack has been identified by his family as Patrick Zamarripa.
A man who claims to be his stepbrother, Dylan Martinez, said on Twitter that Zamarripa was ‘one of the young Dallas police officers killed this evening’.
‘No father should have to bury his son. You are a hero, Patrick. Love you man,’ he said.
On Zamarripa’s social media profile there are pictures of his young daughter and he describes himself as ‘addicted to the thrill of this job’.
‘I own the night. I love my Country, Texas, Family, God, Friends, and Sports! Don’t Tread on Me! ‘Merica,’ his bio says.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT