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Chief: Slain Suspect Claimed Sole Responsibility For Dallas Police Killings

A video posted on YouTube of the Dallas ambush.
A video posted on YouTube of the Dallas ambush. Video Credit: YouTube

Five police officers in Dallas were dead when a bomb squad robot killed a former U.S. Army reservist who claimed full responsibility for an ambush hours earlier following a Thursday rally against police-involved shootings.

Two civilians and seven other police officers were injured in what was the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since 9/11.

Authorities said the "Black Lives Matter" protest march had gone peacefully, as officers chatted with participants along the route.

Then the shooting began.

Hours later, police engaged in a lengthy standoff in a parking garage with a man identified in various media accounts as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, Texas.

Johnson, who didn't have a prior criminal record, "told our negotiators that the end is coming and he's gonna hurt and kill more of us -- meaning law enforcement -- and that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown," Dallas Police Chief David O'Neal Brown told reporters.

Johnson told tactical officers that recent police shootings motivated a lone attack -- contradicting earlier reports of "triangulated snipers" in buildings -- and that he wanted to kill white people, especially law enforcement officers, the chief said.

A standoff with Johnson lasted for hours and included exchanges of gunfire, Brown said.

"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was," he said. "Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger."

Despite Johnson's claims, Brown said authorities hadn't determined whether others were involved. No bombs were found, he added.

"I'm not going to be satisfied until we've turned over every stone. We've got some level that this one suspect did do some of the shooting. But we're not satisfied that we've exhausted every lead," he said. "So if there's someone out there who's associated with this, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and we will bring you to justice."

Various witnesses reported several volleys of shots fired, some of which were captured on video, across from or near the downtown garage.

One shows a shooter, believed to be Johnson, shooting an officer in the back.

Photographer G.J. McCarthy of the Dallas Morning News told CNN that he heard several bursts of gunfire at a garage at the Bank of America Plaza.

"People kept yelling that there was a sniper up there," McCarthy said. "It was really chaotic."

The shootings occurred in an area just a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a sniper on Nov. 22, 1963. Several victims were brought to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where JFK was taken after he was shot.

Most of the injured officers had been treated at the hospital and released, Brown said Friday.

Those killed included Brent Thompson, 43, an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency (DART), which operates bus and commuter rail lines in the city and surrounding suburbs.

Thompson was married two weeks ago to a fellow transit officer, CNN reported.

"We're hurting. Our profession is hurting. There are no words to describe the atrocity that happened in our city," said Brown, the police chief. "All I know is that this must stop -- this divisiveness between our police and our citizens."

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