Washington-Five police officers were killed and seven wounded in a hail of gunfire during a protest on Thursday against the shooting of African-American men by police.
Dallas police on Friday identified the suspect, who they killed in the early hours of Friday morning, as Micah X. Johnson, 25. Johnson was part of four snipers who ambushed the police during the protest following the death of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana.
“Through our investigation of some of the suspects, it’s revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well-thought-out, evil tragedy,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said.
Police chief added that the man wanted to kill white people, especially white officers and were upset about recent police shootings. Johnson wore a protective vest and had a large amount of ammunition with him.
U.S. Federal Police is investigating in what is now considered the deadliest attack since September 11. The police also arrested a series of suspects and posted their pictures on the media and social network.
U.S. Veterans Association said that this attack was coordinated and showed serious planning and execution.
The attack took place as protesters gathered after the killing of of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana by the police. The peaceful gathering became chaotic after a sniper opened fire. The area was then evacuated and the suspect engaged with the police in a stand-off.
Police tried to negotiate with the suspect who didn’t claim any affiliations with any group. After the negotiations broke, the suspect was killed by remotely controlled explosives.
During the press conference, Chief Brown said three suspects were in custody in relation to the shooting. Two of them were apprehended while the third was shot dead.
Officials stressed that the investigation remains fluid and said that while Johnson may have been the lone gunman, the investigation into other possible suspects who may have assisted him continues. No additional details were available on the connection between the third suspect, a woman, and the shooting.
President Obama who was in Warsaw, Poland for the NATO summit said, “Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their jobs keeping people safe during peaceful protests.”
Obama added, “I believe I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified by these events and that we stand behind.”
“We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations but let’s be honest, there’s no possible justification,” Obama said. “Justice will be done.”
“Our police have an extraordinarily difficult job, and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion,” Obama said.
“I also indicated the degree to which we need to be supportive of those officers who do their job each and every day — protecting us and protecting our communities. Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us.”
Obama stressed on the necessity of reviewing gun laws in America. He explained, “When people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these deadlier and more tragic.”
Combat veteran and retired U.S. Navy Intelligence official Malcolm Nance spoke of the attack in a tweet-thread on his twitter account. He said, “Shooter not using off-hand shots, but good use of cover alternating engage side. Mainly Double taps … Shooters intent on surviving. Had escape & evasion plan. Feels militia or Domestic terror grp trained in USA. Initial fusillade was numerous 4-6 shot groups. Mainly 4 shot. Several weapons. Not gang style.”
He added: “For anyone who thinks I’m calm. I’m VERY VERY upset. Went to SWAT school with civilian cops. This designed to incite civil war.”
Iraq veteran Alex Horton also tweeted saying “Smooth footwork, uses pillar as cover during movement, assaults through, pivots back to previous targets,” Horton said. “Takes a cool head. That aggression though, choosing to quickly close the distance to a threat to create a buffer from the video camera’s 9 o’clock.”
New York Post described the shootings on its front-page as “Civil War” which angered many people and lead to negative reactions.