Suspect ID'd in shooting that left 5 Dallas officers dead, 7 officers injured

DALLAS, TX (KTRK) -- Dallas was in shock and beset by uncertainty early Friday after gunmen shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven during a peaceful protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states, police said, in bloodshed evoking the trauma of the nation's tumultuous civil rights era.

EMBED More News Videos

Multiple gun shots were fired during a protest in Dallas on Friday evening.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says authorities believe 25-year-old suspect Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers and wounded seven others was the lone attacker and that the city is safe.

VIDEO: Chief Brown describes sniper suspect's motives
EMBED More News Videos

Dallas Police Chief David Brown says a sniper killed in a parking garage discussed his motive for the ambush downtown

Search warrants are being executed now at the Johnson family home.

Raw video of authorities outside the home believed to be Johnson's.
EMBED More News Videos

Aerial images of the suspect's home in the Dallas shooting

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

"The suspect stated (police officers) will eventually find the IEDs. The suspect stated he was not affiliated with any groups and he stated that he did this alone."

EMBED More News Videos

Dallas Police say they believe at least two snipers ambushed officers patrolling near a protest downtown

RAW VIDEO: Chaos in downtown Dallas
EMBED More News Videos

Multiple shots were fired during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas on Thursday.

Brown also said Johnson's alleged motive was not "a reason or legitimate reason to do harm to anyone."

The incident marks the deadliest day for law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. It also drew a comparison with the November day in 1963 when a U.S. president was slaughtered by a sniper on a Dallas street only a few blocks away.

Early Friday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Johnson had died.

PHOTOS: Shots fired during downtown Dallas protest

"We don't exactly know the last moments of his death but explosives did blast him out," Rawlings told The Associated Press.

He said police swept the area where the standoff took place and found no explosives.

The shooting began about 8:45 p.m. Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest the fatal police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Brown told reporters the snipers fired "ambush style" on the officers. A civilian was also wounded, Rawlings said.

Brown said it appeared the shooters "planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could." Video from the scene showed protesters marching along a downtown street about half a mile from City Hall when shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit has identified one of its officers, 43-year-old Brent Thompson, as being among the dead. DART says Thompson is the first officer killed in the line of duty since the agency's formation in 1989.

DART also identified Officers Omar Cannon, 44; Misty McBride, 32; and Jesus Retana, 39, as injured. Officials say they are expected to recover from their injuries.

"I think the biggest thing that we've had something like this is when JFK died," resident Jalisa Jackson downtown said early Friday as struggled to fathom the still-unsettled situation. Officers crouched beside vehicles, SWAT team armored vehicles arrived and a helicopter hovered overhead.

On Friday afternoon, nearly a thousand mourners gathered in a downtown Dallas park for a prayer vigil to honor the officers lost the night before. Vigil speakers noted that many different races and faiths were represented at the event.

VIDEO: Prayer vigil in downtown Dallas
EMBED More News Videos

Nearly a thousand mourners gathered in a Dallas park Friday afternoon to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

Protests were held in several other U.S. cities Thursday night after a Minnesota officer on Wednesday fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child, the shooting's aftermath livestreamed in a widely shared Facebook video. A day earlier, Alton Sterling was shot in Louisiana after being pinned to the pavement by two white officers. That, too, was captured on a cellphone video.

Thursday's shootings occurred in area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments only a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The scene was chaotic, with officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

"Everyone just started running," Devante Odom, 21, told The Dallas Morning News. "We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there."

Carlos Harris, who lives downtown, told the newspaper that the shooters "were strategic. It was tap, tap pause. Tap, tap pause," he said.

Brown said police don't have a motivation for the attacks or any information on the suspects. He said they "triangulated" in the downtown area where the protesters were marching and had "some knowledge of the route" they would take.

Video posted on social media appeared to show a gunman at ground level exchanging fire with a police officer who was then felled.

Authorities have not determined whether any protesters were involved with or were complicit in the attack and were not certain early Friday that all suspects have been located, Brown said.

Rawlings said at the news conference that authorities will likely ask some people to stay away from downtown Dallas on Friday. Rawlings said a map would be posted online showing an area where people should avoid on Friday.

Early Friday morning, there were dozens of officers of the corridor of the ER at Baylor Medical Center, where other injured officers were taken. The mayor and police chief were seen arriving there.

"Our hearts are broken," the statement said.

Theresa Williams told The Associated Press that the injured civilian was her sister, 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor.

Williams said her sister was at the protests Thursday night with her four sons, ages 12 to 17.

When the shooting began, Taylor threw herself over her sons, Williams said. She was undergoing surgery early Friday after being shot in the right calf.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer "whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time."

"In times like this we must remember - and emphasize - the importance of uniting as Americans," Abbott said.

Other protests across the U.S. on Thursday were peaceful. In midtown Manhattan, protesters first gathered in Union Square Park where they chanted "The people united, never be divided!" and "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!" In Minnesota, where Castile was shot, hundreds of protesters marched in the rain from a vigil to the governor's official residence. Protesters also marched in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia.

President Barack Obama said America is "horrified" over the shootings and there's no possible justification for the attacks.

Speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where he was meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit, the president said justice will be done and he's asking all Americans to pray for the fallen officers and their families. He also said the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.

Three additional suspects are in custody, two of whom were apprehended after a chase down Route 67.

Authorities are not yet sure that all suspects are accounted for. The scene is still active and is expected to remain so through Friday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Keep checking back on this page to get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To get alerts for breaking news, download the abc13 news app for iPhone or Android. You can also get breaking news alerts sent to you by email.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.