Is the fact that his father remarried a white woman part of Micah’s racially motivated shooting spree? Read the details below.
The man who shot 12 police officers, killing five, at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas on Thursday night has been named as Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army reservist with no criminal history or ties to terror groups.
Johnson, from Mesquite, Texas, a 20 minute drive from Dallas, reportedly told law enforcement that he was a veteran, and claimed to have acted alone, countering reports that as many as four gunmen were involved in the massacre.
‘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.
Around 11pm on Thursday, cops cornered Johnson at El Centro College and attempted to negotiate, but four hours later the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect. This was after shots had rung out at a previously peaceful protest in downtown Dallas with demonstrators screaming and running for their lives as cops dropped dead one by one.
Johnson reportedly wore body armor, which would suggest why a cop wasn’t able to kill him when he confronted him in a one-on-one situation which was caught on camera. It resulted in the cop being executed. He also carried an SKS semi-automatic assault rifle and a handgun, and several rounds of ammunition, according to law enforcement sources.
A black SUV found at the scene of the shootings was listed as registered to Delphene Johnson, also of Mesquite, who is understood to be his mother. Police gathered at the address of Ms Johnson late Friday morning.
The casualties include Dallas police officers Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael J. Smith, as well as DART Officer Brent Thompson.
Two other 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, was also taken custody, however Brown said: ‘We still don’t have complete comfort that we have all the suspects.’
Johnson reportedly fired from an ‘elevated position’, picking off officers ‘ambush style,’ Police Chief David Brown said, suggesting that the shooter had some tactical background. ‘Some officers were shot in the back,’ he added.
Army officials said Johnson was a soldier in the reserves and had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. His military occupational specialty was carpentry and masonry. His service dates, as provided by the Army, are March 2009 to April 2015. The Army says Johnson deployed to Afghanistan in November 2013 and returned in July 2014. During his service, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.
Pictures on Facebook suggest that Johnson’s father, James, was also in the military. While he professed a hatred for white people in his last words to a hostage negotiator, it appears his step-mother was white. Donna Ferrier Johnson, a teacher for Dallas schools, proudly shared pictures of her step-son in uniform to her page.
Nevertheless, Johnson’s activity online suggest he became interested with black militant groups. On Facebook, he identified himself as a black nationalist, and his profile picture shows him wearing a dashiki and holding a clenched first in the air like a Black Panther member.
He also liked pages for several pages related to the Nation of Islam, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the New Black Panther Party and the African american Defense League.
Johnson also used to attend a gym called Academy of Combat Warrior Acts, which teaches weapons classes in addition to the traditional martial arts selection, according to the Daily Beast.
Gym CEO Justin Everman spoke out to the Daily Beast, saying many of the gym’s members are police officers and ‘we have completely no affiliation with [Johnson] whatsoever.’
A woman who lived on the same street in Mesquite, Texas, said that Johnson told them that he had ‘lots of guns’ and that she thought he had served overseas.
When his rifles were stolen eight months ago he became ‘very upset’, she said.
The woman, who declined to give her name, said: ‘About eight months ago he knocked on all the doors on the street and said that his rifles had been stolen from his home.
‘He wanted to know if anyone had seen the thieves going down the alley at the back of his house. He thought it happened about 3am.
‘I know he had lots of guns because that what he told us. He seemed like a nice guy to us, he was polite. He was very upset about his guns’.
Neighbors said that Johnson lives in two storey home on a quiet suburban street, which is opposite a large field, with his mother and had been there for years.
Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms took evidence boxes out of the house and a police car blocked off the street.
A woman who appeared to be Johnson’s mother emerged at one point and asked police to keep reporters from knocking on her door.
Neighbour Jowanda Alexander, 36, a mother of four, said that Johnson was ‘not an angry guy’.
She said that six months back he knocked on her door because one of their daughters and her friends was playing around with his mailbox on her way home from school.
She said: ‘He was very friendly and if anything he seemed to be nervous. He just wanted to know what was going on. He didn’t want any trouble – he came in peace’
A friend of Johnson’s also spoke out to say that the Johnson he knew ‘wasn’t really political’.
Israel Cooper says Johnson ‘wasn’t one of those, ‘ah man, white cops, blacks cops, you know’ kind of people.
Cooper says he played basketball with Johnson dozens of times near Johnson’s suburban Dallas house. He says the last time he saw Johnson was a about week ago and that Johnson was ‘cool’ with a ‘good vibe.’
Cooper says when he heard Johnson was a suspect he couldn’t believe it because Johnson wasn’t ‘a violent or rough dude.’
The Black Lives Matter group released a statement distancing themselves from the horrific attack.
‘In the last few days, this country witnessed the recorded murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police, the latest victims in this country’s failed policing system. As we have done for decades, we marched and protested to highlight the urgent need to transform policing in America, to call for justice, transparency and accountability, and to demand that Black Lives Matter.
‘In Dallas, many gathered to do the same, joining in a day of action with friends, family and co-workers.
‘Their efforts were cut short when a lone gunman targeted and attacked 11 police officers, killing five.
‘This is a tragedy–both for those who have been impacted by yesterday’s attack and for our democracy. There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change and quicken the demise of a vibrant discourse on the human rights of Black Americans. We should reject all of this.
‘Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it.
‘Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman.
‘To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.’
Johnson wasn’t the only person in his family to have developed a distrust for law enforcement. In the days leading up to the shooting, his sister Nicole wrote several posts about her frustration at the tense relationship between police and the African-American community.
‘Man on life itself I’m beginning to trust law less n less. Come a yr from now everybody will need a gun for protection. Why is it the black get the harsh treatment like damn. Makes me so mad. When he decide we had enough n fight back smhh…’ she wrote on July 6, responding to the death of Alton Sterling.
After the shooting however, she expressed utter shock at her brother’s actions.
‘I keep saying it’s not true,’ she wrote on Facebook on Friday. ‘My eyes hurt from crying. Y him??? And why was he downtown.’
‘The news will say what they think but those that knew him know this wasn’t like him,’ Johnson added in another post. ‘This is the biggest loss we’ve had.’