Fifth Dallas suspect shoots himself in stand-off with police – reports
RT.com, Jul 8 2016 0856 UTC
A fourth Dallas ambush suspect has reportedly shot himself during a standoff with police, Fox affiliate KDFW said. At least five officers were killed and six injured as a protest over Alton Sterling’s and Philando Castile’s fatal shootings turned violent. The suspect, who was holed up in a Dallas parking garage, died from “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Fox News tweeted. The Dallas Morning News also says the suspect, who was exchanging fire with police in the El Centro College garage, is dead. A fifth suspect may also be dead, CBS reported on Twitter, stressing this information has not been officially confirmed. The violence started on Thursday night during a peaceful protest in Dallas over the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, MN. At least four attackers, holed up in a downtown garage, used sniper rifles against police officers. The incident then sprawled to the streets, where major corporations, restaurants and courthouses have premises. Police believe the attack was coordinated. Dallas Police Chief David Brown told a news conference:
[They were] working together with rifles, triangulating at elevated positions in different points in the downtown area where the march ended up going.
Rev Hood, the one with the Guatamalan stole, I don’t trust this guy. Suspicious highlights – RB
Organizers of anti-brutality rally say they’re devastated police died
Dianne Solas, Dallas News, Jul 8 2016
Dr Jeff Hood was so close to the gunfire in downtown Dallas, he held his gut thinking he might have been hit. Someone had taken aim at two police officers next to him. “Active shooter, active shooter,” he screamed to the crowd as the rally he helped organize against deadly shootings by police disintegrated into violence against officers. Two hours later, at the downtown Greyhound bus station, Hood, 32, looked disoriented in the neon glow. He stood in a cream-colored robe and sandals with a black cross and an embroidered Guatemalan stole. He said:
They teach you so much about organizing, but they don’t teach you about this. I follow Jesus. I am a preacher.
The rally had been organized about 24 hours earlier with a phone call to Dominique Alexander, the 27-year-old founder of the Next Generation Action Network. Next Generation has rallied against other shootings of black and Latino men by police. Hood had hoped a rally led by a white preacher and the black Next Generation leader would show unity and relieve anger. Hood said the crowd in Dallas was taunting the police, but he never believed shots would be fired at police officers. He said:
Forty hours ago, when we decided to go out on a limb and see if we could get a protest together to respond to Baton Rouge and St Paul, never in our wildest dreams would we imagine, first of all, the type of crowd that showed up last night. Never would we have imagined that five police officers would be dead this morning.
Hood and Alexander are expected to speak at a news conference at 11 am Friday outside Dallas City Hall. Alexander said in a 3 am phone interview he was walking near Hood at the front of the rally when he saw an officer fall to the ground, but he said he didn’t see the shooters. In organizing Thursday’s rally, which drew about 800 people, Hood said he placed his attention on lining up people to speak. They included the Rev Michael Waters, senior pastor at Joy Tabernacle AME church, and Olinka Green, a veteran Dallas activist who posted on her Facebook page early Friday morning that she was safe.
Attacker in Dallas police ambush wanted to ‘kill white people’ – police
Lisa Maria Garza, Marice Richter, Reuters, Jul 8 2016
DALLAS – At least one sniper killed five Dallas police officers and wounded another seven in a racially charged attack that ended when police used a robot carrying a bomb to kill him, the city’s shaken police chief said on Friday. The incident began on Thursday evening at the end of a protest over this week’s killing of two black men by local police in Pindostan. The shooting sent protesters running in panic while swarms of police found themselves under attack by what they believed to be multiple gunmen using high-powered rifles at ground level and on rooftops. During lengthy negotiations with police, the gunman said he had wanted to kill white people and white police officers and was angry about the recent shootings. He cited the “Black Lives Matter” anti-police-violence movement, but also said he was not part of a larger organization, said Dallas Police Chief David Brown, told reporters at City Hall:
Shooters, some in elevated positions, used rifles to fire at the officers in what appeared to be a coordinated attack, working together with rifles, triangulating at elevated positions in different points in the downtown area where the march ended up going. We had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. The suspect told police the end is coming and that more police were going to be hurt and killed. We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot.
Media identified the suspect as Micah X Johnson, a 25-year-old resident of the Dallas area. The shots rang out as a protest in Dallas was winding down, sending marchers screaming and running in panic through the city’s streets. A video taken by a witness shows a man with a rifle crouching at ground level and shooting a person who appeared to be wearing a uniform at close range. That person then collapsed to the ground. Reuters could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video. A total of 12 police officers and two civilians were shot during the attack, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. Three of the officers who were shot were women, he said. One of the dead officers was identified as Brent Thompson, 43. Rawlings told CBS News the people in custody, including one woman, were “not being cooperative” with police investigators. He said the assailant who was dead was being fingerprinted and his identity checked with federal authorities. Brown declined to say how many people were involved in the attack, saying, “We’re going to keep these suspects guessing.” There was no sign of international links to the attacks, boxtops said on Friday. Experts on extremist groups said such attacks are not necessarily carried out by an organization and are often the work of individuals. Black groups have not been linked to any recent violent attacks in the United States, they said. Mark Pitcavage, an expert on extremist movements with the ADL:
Most extremists are not card-carrying members of any groups whatsoever. Especially in this internet age, it is easy to get involved in an ideology without joining a group.
Dallas gunman killed by bomb robot, ‘wanted to kill officers,’ officials say
Molly Hennessy-Fiske, LA Times, Jul 8 2016
Police used a “bomb robot” early Friday to kill a gunman after five police officers were killed and seven others wounded in downtown Dallas during a protest over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, officials said. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a Friday morning news conference:
We cornered one suspect and we tried to negotiate for several hours (but) negotiations broke down (and turned into) an exchange of gunfire with the suspect.
The suspect was identified as Micah X Johnson, 25, a resident of the Dallas area. Johnson had no known criminal history or ties to terror groups, and has relatives in Mesquite, Texas, which is just east of Dallas. Brown said a hostage negotiator spoke with the gunman at length before he was killed about 2:30 am. The chief said the attacker said he was upset “with white people” and with recent police shootings. The suspect also said that he was not affiliated with any groups and that he acted alone, Brown said. In a reference to explosives, Brown said:
The suspect said we will eventually find the IEDs. He wanted to kill officers. And he expressed killing white people, killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter. We saw no other option than to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. Reports that the suspect shot himself are incorrect. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.
Brown said other suspects were in custody, but declined to say how many. Other officials said three suspects were in custody. Police believe that the gunman who was killed “did some of the shooting,” but perhaps not all, Brown said, vowing:
If there’s someone out there associated with this, we will find you. We’re working diligently to process the crime scene and find evidence.
Brown said he would not comment about whether the gunman appeared mentally ill. He said:
None of that makes sense. None of that is a reason to do harm to anyone.
Brown said he spoke over night with the families of officers killed as well as those injured, most of whom have been released from the hospital. He said three officers listed in critical condition are doing better, but that they and the department need the public’s support. He said:
We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting, Dallas officers are hurting. We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said also he met overnight with some families of officers killed and some of the officers hospitalized. In addition to police, two civilians, a man and a woman. were shot and injured, the mayor said. Of the dozen officers shot (10 men and two women), eight are Dallas police and four are Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers, officials said. Rawlings said he met with the wounded officers. One of the officers had surgery overnight and was doing well, Rawlings said. He said he spoke with another officer shot in the leg, and another shot in the arm. Rawlings said:
The one shot in the leg (said) three officers from his squad had died, had gone down around him. He felt sad for the other officers, that people don’t understand the danger of dealing with a protest. What it can do is put our officers in harm’s way.
The shooting broke out late Thursday during what had been a peaceful protest against shootings by police officers that claimed the lives of black men in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge, La. About 800 people were marching through downtown, flanked by about 100 police officers, when the gunfire began. The violence didn’t end until about 2:30 am., when police declared an end to the stand-off with a gunman in a downtown garage, according to Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed. She would not confirm reports that the gunman died. It was not immediately clear who the snipers were and whether they were acting on behalf of any organization. Their lethal effectiveness suggested that they were well trained. Brown said:
We’re leaving motive on the table, how this happened and why this happened.
Officials identified one of the slain officers as Brent Thompson, 43, who had worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department since 2009. He was the department’s first officer to be killed in the line of duty. Three other DART officers were injured but were expected to recover, officials said. The other officers who were killed were members of the Dallas Police Department. Amanda Mann, a 35-year-old Dallas resident, said:
I drove downtown with friends shortly before 7 pm to catch the beginning of the protest in Belo Garden Park. I heard about it through Facebook. For the first hour, it felt familiar, much like previous Black Lives Matter protests I’ve been to. Until 7:45 there were just some speakers. They were positive and proactive. Then they said we were going to line up and march. Around 8:30 or 8:45 pm, as the rally died down and I was walking to my car near El Centro College, when I heard the first barrage of shots, One group of protesters ran toward me, away from the gunfire. For about 40 minutes, police shouted at protesters to move from one block to the next as they tried to chase down suspects. At one point I lay down with a group on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza, (famous from) the assassination of President Kennedy. At another point, I was by the county jail a few blocks away before running across the Commerce Street Bridge over the Trinity River, away from the police scene. It was like nothing I had seen before. We just kept following what the police told us to do.
Dallas police on Thursday night released a photo of a black man wearing a camouflage shirt and toting a gun. The department’s official Twitter feed identified the man as a suspect, though David Brown, the police chief, later described him as a “person of interest.” The man shown in the photo, Mark Hughes, told KTVT-TV that he turned himself into police after learning he was publicly identified as linked to the shooting. He was later released from custody and told the TV station that he was wrongfully accused. Hughes said:
Immediately, I flagged down a police officer. Officers subjected me to a 30-minute-long interrogation. They lied to me. They told me they had witnesses and video indicating that I fired my gun. At the end of the day, it’s the system. The system was trying to get me. Now you all have my face on national news, are you going to come out and say that this young man had nothing to do with it? At the end of the day, it was persecution on me unrightly, and I feel that they need to do something about that.