Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old US Army Reserve veteran and fan of anti-police groups, seems to have been the only gunman in the Dallas mass shooting that left five police officers dead and nine people wounded Thursday. He was also likely the first suspect ever killed by domestic police using a robotically delivered explosive payload.
Johnson wore body armor as he unleashed terror on the city, used an SKS semi-automatic rifle and a handgun in his attack, according to CBS News.
At a press conference early Friday, Dallas police chief David Brown read from Johnson's statements to police during failed negotiations amid a standoff in a parking garage at El Centro College. According to Brown, Johnson claimed he was "not affiliated with any groups," adding that he "did this alone." Anonymous law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN on Friday that Johnson had no known ties to terrorist groups, nor any criminal record in Texas.
"He wanted to kill officers, and he expressed killing white people, he expressed killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter," Brown said, adding, "None of that makes sense."
The man's now-defunct Facebook page suggested that while he may have had no official ties, he subscribed to a militant reading of black nationalism. The Daily Beast observed that Johnson "liked" the African American Defense League; that group published a post Friday morning calling for Bloods and Crips to unite and "attack everything in blue except the mailman, unless he is carrying more than mail!"
The post has since been been deleted.
A neighbor of Johnson's named Wayne Bynoe told CNN that he lived with his mother and "keeps to himself." He was also reportedly a fan of the Black Riders Liberation Party, a group based in Los Angeles that advocates for gun ownership in the black community. In October of last year, VICE talked to party leader General T.A.C.O., who told us, "We see the whole issue of police terrorism as being tied to the issue of white supremacy and capitalism and US imperialism on the planet."
During Johnson's time in the Army Reserve, he specialized in carpentry and masonry, and was deployed to Afghanistan for a short stint, lasting from November 2013 through July 2014. Johnson's military record lists Mesquite, Texas, a suburb just east of Dallas, as his city of residence. An SUV found by police at the crime scene was registered to someone named Delphene Johnson, also from Mesquite.
The Daily Beast reported Johnson attended martial arts classes at a gym called the Academy of Combat Warrior Arts, although the owner of that gym, Justin Everman, told the outlet he had "completely no affiliation with him whatsoever."
In a bit of grim irony, the academy was scheduled to offer a training course Friday called "Surviving an ACTIVE SHOOTER situation," in which students "learn what you can do with little or no materials and no firearm to protect yourself."
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