Suspect in sniper shooting that killed 5 was ex-Army reservist


Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, has been identified as one of the suspected gunmen in an ambush Thursday that left five Dallas law enforcement officers dead and seven more officers injured, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Johnson, who died in the incident, had served as an Army Reservist until April 2015, defense officials said. He was trained and served in the Army Reserves as a carpentry and masonry specialist, they said.

Police said he had told hostage negotiators he was angry about recent fatal shootings of black men by police elsewhere in the United States and that he wanted to kill white people, especially police officers.

The gunman “expressed anger for Black Lives Matter” and told a hostage negotiator he “wanted to kill [police] officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said today.

Police spent hours negotiating with Johnson before he was killed by an explosive strapped to a police robot.

“We’re hurting,” Brown said. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city.”

Officials said earlier at least two gunmen were involved.

Three other suspects — two men and one woman — have been detained by police, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

“I can tell you they’re being pretty tight-lipped at this point,” he said of the trio.

Two civilians were also injured in the shootings, which happened as people demonstrated in downtown Dallas after the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, black men killed by police in Louisiana and in Minnesota this week.

Among the five officers killed, at least one was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer, identified by the agency as Brent Thompson. DART said it was “grieving the loss.”

President Obama called the Dallas shootings a “vicious, calculated, despicable attack” while speaking to reporters this morning in Warsaw, Poland. He described the killings as a “tremendous tragedy” and “senseless murders.”

“We will learn more about their twisted motivations,” Obama said of the suspects. “Let’s be clear: There is no possible justification.”

The chaos erupted just before 9 p.m. Thursday when at least two snipers in elevated positions opened fire on police officers amid the demonstrations, officials said. The family of 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor, a woman who was shot and injured, told ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV that while at the demonstrations with her four sons, she jumped on top of her son as shots were fired.

Police said the gunmen fired from two different perches or garages.

Demonstrations across the country followed the deaths of Sterling and Castile as both shootings — parts of which were captured on witness video — sparked outrage. The Department of Justice is investigating Sterling’s death and monitoring the investigating into Castile’s.

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