Five Dallas police officers were killed and seven were wounded following a sniper attack during a protest over recent police shootings.
According to ABC News, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said they “saw no other option but to use our bomb robot” to detonate and kill suspect Micah Xavier Johnson. Before his death, the 25-year-old reportedly said he carried out the shooting because he “wanted to kill officers” and “expressed anger for Black Lives Matter.” He also said, according to Brown, “that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” However, Brown said the suspect claimed he was acting alone.
With negotiations breaking down, police claimed Johnson engaged with officers and SWAT during the three-hour standoff. The Washington Post reports that authorities believe he is the same person who was filmed shooting an officer at point-blank range earlier in the night.
“We are hurting, our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city,” Chief Brown commented during Thursday night’s press conference.
CNN reports that law enforcement claimed Johnson had no criminal record or terrorist ties. With few details out about the dead suspect, Heavy reports that investigators stated the 25-year-old served in the U.S. Army Reserve. Chief Brown also said the suspect mentioned IEDs hidden all over downtown Dallas.
Though three suspects are in custody, authorities have yet to provide additional details, according to The Guardian. With 800 protesters and 100 officers in attendance, the Black Lives Matter rally was peaceful until 8:58 p.m., when snipers fired “from elevated positions,” Brown stated.
A lawyer for five of the seven officers injured said that they were all expected to recover. However, a female officer who was shot in the arm may be permanently injured as a result,The New York Times reported early Friday morning.
The family of Alton Sterling — whose on-film death by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, cops earlier this week in part sparked protests across the country — has denounced the violence that occurred last night. The lawyers for Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of one of Sterling’s children, issued the following statement on her behalf:
“We wholeheartedly reject the reprehensible acts of violence that were perpetrated against members of the Dallas Police Department.
Our hearts break for the families of the officers who were lost as they protected protesters and residents alike during a rally.
Regardless of how angry or upset people may be, resorting to this kind of sickening violence should never happen and simply cannot be tolerated.
Members of law enforcement have a very difficult job and the vast majority conduct themselves honorably as they protect and serve our communities.
We maintain that officers who violate the public trust and their training should be held accountable through our country’s justice system.
Responding to violence with violence is not the answer.”
Dallas Mayor Rawlings paid tribute to the fallen police officers during a press conference, saying, “It is a heartbreaking morning to lose these four officers (now five) that proudly served our citizens. To say that our police officers put their life on the line every day is no hyperbole, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a reality.”
Main photo: The suspect aiming at a police officer, just before a shooting. [Fox 4]