Micah Xavier Johnson, identified as a gunman in the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas last night, was an enlisted soldier who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The U.S. army on Friday confirmed Johnson’s military service, a day after five Dallas police officers were shot dead and seven officers and two civilians were wounded in an attack that comes during a week of violence involving police and black men.
Dallas police killed Johnson, 25, with a robot-delivered bomb after hours of overnight negotiations in a parking garage had failed.
Johnson served in the army reserve from March 2009 to April 2015. He was a private first class with a specialty in carpentry and masonry. His Afghanistan deployment spanned from November 2013 to July 2014.
During lengthy negotiations with police Thursday, the gunman said “the end is coming,” according to Dallas police Chief David Brown.
“The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter,” said Brown. “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 man also told negotiators that he had acted alone in the shooting and was unaffiliated with any group, Brown said, but it remains unclear whether that was the case.
Brown said other suspects were in custody, but would not discuss those detentions. Brown added that police still didn’t know if investigators had accounted for all participants in the attack, which began after 9 p.m. and dispersed a peaceful protest over two high-profile shootings earlier this week in two other states that involved police shootings of black men.
About a half-dozen police vehicles were parked Friday outside the two-story brick home in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, thought to be where Johnson resides.
An unverified Facebook page belonging to a Micah Johnson that has since been taken down shows a profile picture of a young black man wearing a dashiki, with a raised fist.
Another picture shows the same man posing with Richard (Professor Griff) Griffin, the former member of Public Enemy who made anti-Semitic comments in 1989.
The gunman in the Dallas attack is not to be confused with the Micah Johnson who has played for Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The ballplayer, also 25, sent out a tweet to clear up any confusion and express his sadness: “Here I am today. The other Micah Johnson is not. And for that the world is better. Praying today for this world.”
Meanwhile in other parts of US, the tension is high. Tennessee had a highway gunman shooting randomly. ABC news reports:
A man accused of shooting indiscriminately at passing cars and police on a Tennesseehighway told investigators he was angry about police violence against African-Americans, authorities said Friday.
One woman died and three others, including one police officer, were injured in the rampage.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that initial conversations with the suspect, 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott, revealed he was troubled by several incidents across the U.S.
Scott, who is black, was wounded in the shootout with police, remains hospitalized and has not yet been charged. All those shot were white, police confirmed.
The announcement comes just hours after 12 officers were shot at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas by a man who police say declared he was angry about police shootings of black men and wanted to exterminate whites. Five of the officers died.
The shooting spree in Tennessee began around 2:20 a.m. Thursday.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation alleges Scott — armed with an assault rifle, a pistol and a large amount of ammunition — fired shots through the window of the Days Inn on Volunteer Parkway.
The front desk clerk, Deborah Watts, was struck and injured. Days Inn owner Kiran Patel said he awoke to the sound of gunfire. His wife called the front desk to see what happened, Watts answered and said she’d been shot. She remains in the hospital in serious but stable condition.
The gunman then turned his fire to cars passing on the highway, investigators say.
Newspaper carrier Jennifer Rooney, a 44-year-old mother of two, was on her way to pick up papers for the morning delivery when a bullet struck her. The Bristol Herald-Courier reported that her car careened over a median and crashed through a chain link fence.
David Whitman Davis was also injured by flying glass from the gunfire, the TBI said.
Three officers with the Bristol Tennessee Police Department arrived and confronted Scott, who fired on them.
Office Matthew Cousins was hit in the leg. He was treated for superficial injuries and released.
Scott was stuck by the officers returning fire. He remains in the hospital in serious but stable condition.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the investigation is ongoing as they work to understand the shooter’s motive.