Dallas shootings suspect was US army veteran

Dallas shootings suspect was US army veteran

The suspected gunman killed in a stand-off with Dallas police was an army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, was killed on Friday just hours after five police officers were shot dead and seven were injured during a demonstration against the shooting of black men by police.

Johnson was believed to have shared a two-storey home in Mesquite, about 30 minutes east of Dallas, with family members. He graduated from John Horn High School in Mesquite, school district officials said.

He began serving the US army in March 2009, officials said. Johnson was a private first class with a military occupational speciality of carpentry and masonry.

Towards the end of his tenure, Johnson was deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 and returned in July 2014. His service ended in April 2015.

On what appears to be Johnson's Facebook page, photographs posted by someone who identified herself as a relative showed him in a US army uniform and holding an unknown object as though it were a weapon.

The relative also left a comment on his birthday in 2014 that called him "definitely Army strong" and an "entertaining, loving, understanding, not to mention handsome friend, brother (and) son".

The shootings began shortly before 9pm local time on Thursday when snipers shot and killed five police officers, wounded seven more and injured two civilians.

A demonstration to protest the recent killings of black men by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St Paul, Minnesota, was drawing to a close when the gunfire started.

Hours later, police cornered Johnson in a parking garage and began lengthy negotiations. After the negotiations failed, police used explosives delivered by a robot to "blast him out" and he died, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

During the final moments of Johnson's life, police said he had told negotiators he was upset about recent police shootings and wanted to kill white people, particularly white officers.

Dallas Police Chief David O Brown added that the suspect said he had acted alone and was unaffiliated with any group. Mr Brown said there were others in custody. The chief added that police still did not know if investigators had accounted for all participants in the attack.

After Johnson was killed, a relative posted on her Facebook page: "I keep saying its not true ... my eyes hurt from crying. Y him??? And why was he downtown."

For several hours on Friday morning, police blocked access to the home where Johnson was believed to have lived in Mesquite. Investigators were seen carrying out several bags of material.

Bomb-making materials and a journal of combat tactics have been found.


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