Suspect identified in 5 Dallas officers' shooting deaths - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Suspect identified in 5 Dallas officers' shooting deaths

Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson appears in a now-removed Facebook photo. (Source: Facebook) Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson appears in a now-removed Facebook photo. (Source: Facebook)
Two Dallas Police Department squad cars sit Friday outside headquarters as a memorial for the five slain officers. (Source: Dallas PD/Twitter/CNN) Two Dallas Police Department squad cars sit Friday outside headquarters as a memorial for the five slain officers. (Source: Dallas PD/Twitter/CNN)
Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson appears in a now-removed Facebook photo. (Source: Facebook) Dallas shooting suspect Micah Johnson appears in a now-removed Facebook photo. (Source: Facebook)
Brent Thompson, 43, with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department was identified as one of the officers killed in shootings during a protest Thursday. Four other officers also were killed. (Source: DART/CNN) Brent Thompson, 43, with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department was identified as one of the officers killed in shootings during a protest Thursday. Four other officers also were killed. (Source: DART/CNN)
Dallas police watch over the scene Friday where five officers were killed and seven others wounded by gunfire during a protest. (Source: KTVT/CNN) Dallas police watch over the scene Friday where five officers were killed and seven others wounded by gunfire during a protest. (Source: KTVT/CNN)

DALLAS (RNN) - The man killed in a standoff Friday in the wake of shootings that killed five officers expressed anger about recent deaths involving police and was, according to a legal advocacy group, a fan of black separatist hate groups. 

Multiple reports identified the shooter as 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a person the Southern Poverty Law Center identified as liking on Facebook the New Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and the Black Riders Liberation Party, which the SPLC listed as hate groups. 

According to the Associated Press, however, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the attacker had no known links to international terrorist groups. 

The suspect, pinned in at a parking garage at El Centro College, spoke with a police negotiator before attempts to get him to surrender broke down, and they exchanged gunfire. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said he was killed by police using an explosive device carried by a robot. 

"The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter," Brown said. "He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

Brown said the man did not claim affiliation with any group and was acting on his own. Law enforcement officials said it appeared to be a lone shooter, according to CNN.

Dallas police said they searched Johnson's house and found a combat tactic journal, bomb-making material, ballistic vests, rifles and ammunition. He has no criminal record, but police said the uncovered a connection to an advocate of "a radical form of Afrocentrism."

However, three other people reportedly were taken in to custody in relation to the shootings. Brown offered insight into the investigation Friday, during a prayer vigil for the fallen officers.

"During our investigation of some of the suspects, it was revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well thought out, evil tragedy by these suspects," he said. "And we won't rest until we bring everyone involved to justice."

A representative for the U.S. Army said Johnson had served as an enlisted soldier and did a tour of duty in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.

Seven other officers and two civilians also were wounded. The police chief said some of the injured officers had been released from the hospital, and others still needed more treatment.

The suspect threatened that he had placed improvised explosive devices in the area, but police have found no evidence of them.

Brown said Friday that the shooter or shooters fired ambush-style on officers during a protest through downtown and appeared to be trying to kill as many as they could. 

"It was so sudden and it was very tragic," said Sharay Santora, a protester and witness. "My children and I were in front of the crowd. I decided to slow down a little bit to let us hover over to the middle of the group, when the first shot rang out was during the moment of crying, and everyone stood still and looked around because it sounded like fireworks."

Brent Thompson, 43, with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department was identified as one of the officers killed. He had been with the department since 2009 and had gotten married to another DART officer just weeks before the shooting.

Three other DART officers, 44-year-old Officer Omar Cannon, 32-year-old Officer Misty McBride and 39-year-old Officer Jesus Retan; had been shot but are expected to recover, a department spokesperson said. Dallas police have not identified the other officers killed or wounded.

Brown credited officers with running toward the gunfire from an elevated position, with no way to protect themselves, in an effort to help get people to safety.

"(They are) some of the bravest men and women you ever want to be associated with," the police chief said. 

The incident was the deadliest attack for police in the U.S. since 9/11.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday that multiple federal agencies were in Dallas to assist and "to help heal the community that has been severely shaken and deeply scarred by an unfathomable tragedy."

Dallas police tweeted a picture of a man around 11 p.m., calling him as a suspect in the shootings. The man, who was legally carrying a rifle during the protest, turned himself in, was cleared of suspicion and released by authorities after questioning, according to the Washington Post.

President Barack Obama spoke from Warsaw, Poland, where he was scheduled to be at a NATO summit. He called the attack on law enforcement "despicable."

"There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement," Obama said. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done."

The president decided on Friday afternoon to cut his European visit short and return to the U.S. to visit a mourning Dallas. 

The protest in Dallas was one of many across the country in response to two black men killed by police officers this week that were captured on video. Alton Sterling, 37, was killed by officers in Baton Rouge, LA, and Philando Castile, 32, was killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, MN. 

Copyright 2016 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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