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What we know about suspected Dallas shooter Micah Xavier Johnson

The main suspect in Thursday's nights attack on Dallas police was an Army reservist from Texas who served in Afghanistan.

by VICE News and Reuters
Jul 8 2016, 9:15pm

Photo via Twitter

Micah Xavier Johnson is the main suspect in Thursday's nights attack on Dallas police that left five officers dead and nine people wounded, including seven officers and two civilians.

Johnson, who was black and served as a US Army reservist in Afghanistan, said that he was not affiliated with any group, but that he wanted to "kill white people." Those were his words, as relayed by Dallas police, during a standoff that ended when he was killed by a bomb-carrying robot.

"[Johnson] said he was upset about the recent police shootings," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. "The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

The shootings, the latest major gun violence to rock the United States, took place toward the end of a march protesting incidents earlier in the week in Louisiana and Minnesota in which police fatally shot black men in incidents caught on video.

Brown told reporters that the attack was "was a well-planned, well-thought-out, evil tragedy," and that Johnson told police negotiators while he was holed up that the "end is coming."

The US Army said Johnson, originally from the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, had served as a private first class in the Army Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014. It said Johnson served from March 2009 to April 2015 and was a carpentry and masonry specialist with the 420th Engineering Brigade based in Texas. He received several awards during his service, including the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

He did not appear to have seen combat, given that his awards did not include a combat action or infantryman's badge, but he would have undergone 10 weeks of basic training in which he learned basic combat skills and how to handle and fire automatic weapons.

Authorities said that the gunman fired at least some of the shots in the attack but have not ruled out that other shooters were involved. Details on how the shootings unfolded remained unclear. It also was not clear how one person could have shot so many officers, though video of the attack taken by a witness shows a gunman carrying an assault-style weapon and large amounts of ammunition.

Police said they were questioning two occupants of a Mercedes they had pulled over after seeing a man throwing a camouflage bag inside the back of the vehicle, which then sped off on a downtown street. A woman was also taken into custody near the garage where the standoff took place.

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