July 2016 – DALLAS, TX — At least one sniper, who said he wanted to shoot white police officers, killed five officers and wounded seven others at a demonstration in Dallas on Thursday night against police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, officials said. The sniper was killed, and three other people are in custody, officials said. During a several hour long standoff after the attack, in which two civilians were also wounded, the gunman told police negotiators that “he was upset about Black Lives Matter,” the Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, said on Friday. “He said he was upset about the recent police shootings,” Chief Brown said. “The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” The police killed the suspect using an explosive delivered by a robot, he said, and arrested three other people.
It appears that the dead sniper, identified as Micah X. Johnson, 25, was the sole gunman, a senior law enforcement official said. Officials at first said that at least two snipers had carried out a coordinated ambush, firing rifles from triangulated positions, including from one or more elevated posts in downtown buildings. Mr. Johnson, an Army veteran who lived in the Dallas area, apparently had no criminal record in Texas. Investigators have not turned up any evidence that he had ties to the Black Lives Matter movement or to political groups. The official said that Justice officials have reached out to the Pentagon to obtain Mr. Johnson’s military records.
The sequence of events this week tore at a nation already deeply divided over questions of policing and race, pivoting from anger and despair over shootings of black men by the police to officers being targeted in apparent retaliation. It dealt a blow both to law enforcement and to peaceful critics of the police.
“All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens,” Chief Brown said. Just hours after President Obama, reacting to video recordings of the shootings in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minn., spoke in anguished terms about the disparate treatment of the races by the criminal justice system, he felt compelled to speak again, saying that nothing could justify the violence in Dallas. “There has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement,” Mr. Obama told reporters Friday morning in Warsaw, where he was attending a NATO summit meeting, after speaking by phone with Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas. “Police in Dallas were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe, during peaceful protests.”
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who was in Washington, said: “After the events of this week, Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. Now, these feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence. To our brothers and sisters who wear the badge, I want you to know that I am deeply grateful for the difficult and dangerous work that you do every day to keep our streets safe and our nation secure,” she said. To the protesters, she said, “Do not be discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence.”
Officials refused to say whether they believe the three suspects arrested and the one killed were the only ones involved. They would not identify the four or say much about them while the investigation was underway. “We’re not satisfied that we’ve exhausted every lead,” Chief Brown said. “Our profession is hurting,” he said. “Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are not words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city.”
The sniper who was killed, while holed up on the second floor of a parking garage, told the police that there were explosives planted downtown, but after a sweep of the area, officials said none had been found. He also claimed he had acted alone, Mr. Brown said. The attack appeared to be the deadliest for law enforcement officers in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.
The shootings, only a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, transformed an emotional but peaceful rally into a scene of carnage and chaos, and they injected a volatile new dimension into the anguished debate over racial disparities in American criminal justice. The gunfire, starting just before 9 p.m., sent thousands of terrified marchers, including families with children, running for cover, while police officers ran the other way, guns drawn, and returned fire at the gunmen. –NY Times