A peaceful rally before gunfire rang out, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Mike Rawlings. The suspected shooter, Micah Johnson, a 25 year-old Black male. A memorial for the fallen officers in front of Dallas Police Headquarters today.
Photos courtesy: Dallas Police Department, NBC Dallas, Associated Press, Twitter, ABC News
Updated 7:20 p.m. ET
At least 12 Dallas officers and 2 civilians, including a mother, were shot during a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas Thursday night. The Dallas Police Department says 5 officers were killed and 7 wounded during the ambush by 2 snipers. Authorities said it was a well-planned, calculated attack. The Dallas Black Lives Matter rally was to protest this week’s police shooting deaths of Philando Castile, a magnet school cafeteria manager in Minnesota and Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“We are heartbroken,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown at a televised news conference this morning.
Chief Brown said police cornered 1 suspect in a parking garage and tried to negotiate with him for several hours. “Then used a bomb robot to go where the suspect was. The suspect was deceased after the bomb detonated,” Chief Brown said.
Brown said the suspect told police that he was upset about the recent police shootings and that he wanted to kill white people, particularly white police officers.
“He said that he was not affiliated with any group and that he did this alone,” Chief Brown said.
The suspect was identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, an army veteran who served in Afghanistan. Dallas Police also reported late today that authorities searched Johnson’s home and found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. Police said Johnson had no criminal history. Detectives are analyzing the items during the ongoing investigation.
Chief Brown praised his police department as some of the bravest men and women in the country to protect the public and democracy.
“You see video of them running toward the gunfire with no chance of protection,” Chief Brown said. The officers at the rally were not wearing protective riot gear, Chief Brown said.
“Please… we need your support to protect you against men like these…Please pray for the families of the deceased. They need your prayers. Pray for our strength during this trying time,” Chief Brown said.
Chief Brown also said some of the wounded have been released from the hospital.
“We are not going to let a coward ambush us to protect democracy. Our country is better than that,” Chief Brown said. Chief Brown said they will find and prosecute others involved.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also announced a prayer vigil at Noon at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas and asked everyone to pray for everyone affected by the attack, the city and the country. Thousands turned out to show their support at the interfaith service.
Overnight, Dallas Police tweeted 2 snipers shot the police officers from elevated positions during the protest rally. Another alleged suspect was in a shootout with a Dallas Swat officer and that suspect is in custody. A suspicious package was in the facility near the suspect’s location. The DPD bomb squad has it, police tweeted overnight.
A Dallas Police officer also saw an individual carrying a camouflaged bag walking quickly down Lamar Street. The person threw the bag in the back of a black Mercedes and sped off. Police stopped the Mercedes at I-35E and Kriest and questioned the people in the car, according to the Dallas Police Department’s Twitter feed.
The Dallas Police Department asks the public to call them at 214-671-3584, if you have any information for the ongoing investigation or submit tips to IWatchDallas.com and the DPD’s Facebook, Twitter pages.