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Dallas gunman was Army veteran who reportedly said he ‘wanted to kill white people’

  • FACEBOOK VIA AP

    This undated photo posted on Facebook on April 30 shows Micah Johnson, who was a suspect in the sniper slayings of five law enforcement officers in Dallas Thursday night during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.

MESQUITE, Texas » The shooter, barricaded in a downtown Dallas parking garage, bantered with negotiators during an hours-long standoff.

He did not seem nervous and said he was not afraid to die.

He told the armed officers facing him that he had been preparing for the assault, vowing that he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to Dallas police.

As investigators later discovered, the gunman’s online activities provided other hints to his motivation.

Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old black man, showed interest in groups affiliated with the black separatist movement. He had “liked” Facebook pages for the founder of Nation of Islam and for the Black Riders Liberation Party, which are classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The rough outlines of Johnson’s life that emerged after the shootings in Dallas paint a portrait of a U.S. Army veteran who was violently disturbed by what he saw as a police war against black Americans. He was determined to fight back.

It remains unclear whether Johnson was the only one involved in the ambush that broke out during a demonstration to protest recent deadly police shootings of two African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota. But as hundreds of people marched through downtown Dallas, officials say Johnson opened fire, killing five police officers and wounding nine others.

Friends and family expressed shock over the shootings, saying the attack ran counter to what they knew of Johnson. He had no criminal history or known ties to terrorist groups.

“It’s the quiet ones that just do the most devastating stuff,” his friend Israel Cooper told The Associated Press. “You never see it coming. But then it’s more expected, like ‘I should have known.’”

Cooper frequently played basketball with Johnson at a park near his house in Mesquite, a blue-collar suburb southeast of downtown Dallas. Johnson, who went by Xavier, had a “cool vibe,” Cooper said, and never seemed like “a violent or rough dude.”

In Johnson’s neighborhood, near Interstate 20, fast food joints and gas stations dominate the commercial arteries, with the residential areas tucked behind high walls.

On the last road in a neighborhood dotted with large houses and big front yards, law enforcement and media swarmed a two-story home with a stone facade and a portico above the front entrance.

Inside, detectives found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal “of combat tactics,” a Dallas Police Department news release said. Law enforcement officials believe Johnson frequently went to shooting ranges.

He joined the Army Reserve in March 2009 and served in a troop program unit in nearby Seagoville for four and a half years, according to his service record. Members of the Army Reserve program typically spend one weekend per month on duty and perform two weeks of additional training each year.

He deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and served eight months as a carpentry and masonry specialist with the 420th Engineer Brigade.

Johnson received several medals for his tour of duty in Afghanistan, including an Army Achievement Medal and a NATO Medal.

A woman who served with Johnson in Afghanistan posted on Facebook that Johnson had been “my battle buddy, my brother in arms.”

“I served with him most of all my army career,” Sarah Castaneda wrote. “I’ve been feeling so heavy hearted about what’s going on but this just hits too … close.”

In a Facebook post, Johnson’s sister mourned the loss of her brother and questioned why he had gone to the downtown demonstration.

“I keep saying it’s not true … my eyes hurt from crying,” Nicole Johnson wrote in a post she later deleted. Minutes later, she posted again. “The news will say what they think but those that knew him know this wasn’t like him. … This is the biggest loss we’ve had.”

Dallas activists said they did not recognize Johnson or his name, and had never seen him at a protest.

In addition to his interest in separatist groups, Johnson had “liked” a page for the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, named for the Black Panther Party’s co-founder. The group, founded last year, teaches its members self-defense and conducts what it calls “armed patrols” through neighborhoods where the police have killed black men.

In a press release issued last year, the group said police agencies with officers who shoot and kill black people “protect the interests of the ruling class, much as they did in the past with slave patrols in the South and strike breakers in the late 19th and early 20th century.”

“We’d never seen him and we don’t know him,” said member Erick Khafre by phone. “The gun club isn’t affiliated with him in any way.”

In his Facebook photo, Johnson wore a purple, yellow and gold dashiki and thrust his fist into the air. His cover photo displayed the red, black and green stripes of the Pan-African flag.

Last week, Johnson shared a video on Facebook of pilot whales being killed in the shallow waters off the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.

“Look at the joy on their faces,” Johnson wrote. “Why do so many whites (not all) enjoy killing and participating in the death of innocent beings?”

He continued: “The church members and regular citizens (offspring of terrorist invaders) who stood around watching, cheering, eating food with their families while watching one of our ancestors be beaten, noose tied around their neck, hung up high for all to see… then they all stand around and smile while their picture is taken with a hung, burned and brutalized black person.”

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(Times staff writers Duara reported from Mesquite and Nelson from Los Angeles. Times staff writers W.J. Hennigan and Del Quentin Wilber in Washington contributed to this report.)

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©2016 Los Angeles Times

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  • Here we are modern day times and race wars are still raging since 100 years or more ago. Even religion. Worldwide. If this is humanities destiny which is to wipe out one another then it’s a sad ending. This category is in the same realm as homelessness also worldwide. No end in sight for the near future. The only cure is self inflicted eradication of one another. Sadly true unless a super mastermind or alien intervention provides a cure. Whoa sorry going a little deep here.

      • All I can say is Christopher Deedy had both Criminal and Administration implications when he shot Elderts at the Waikiki McDonald’s. If The PC focus around Deedy’s Attitude which laid to criminal act should have been based on a hate crime and tried in Federal Court. This could have been simply validated by the statement he provided showing his extreme bias after a colleague had informed him prior to his arrival to watch out for local people who don’t like foreigners. Second, he violated his own FLETC firearm training policy to secure weapons in the hotel safe If he plans to go clubbing after work. It is a fact the consumption of alcohol impairs a person good judgement and other agents getting into trouble in the past as the reason for.coming out with this policy. The big question goes back to competency of both First Circuit Court Judge and Senior Prosector who who got an F Grade on their performances.

        • “watch out for local people who don’t like foreigners” Who are these foreigners? Illegal aliens? First Circuit Court Judge and Senior Prosecutor got their training from Loretta Lynch.

        • The BIG difference in this incident is that the victims were heroes working to protect others in their daily jobs. Elderts was a drug using punk who asked for the bad things that happened around him.

      • I just read an article of Micah’s sister’s comments on her brothers actions. She couldn’t believe it, saying it’s a great loss in which I take it being her brother’s death, smh. And another comment from her was her rantings of white cops killing black men behind blue clothing. OMG, all I can say, she lucky she no live in the hoods of Chicago or you know what maybe she’d be okay with the black on black crime in the hood as long as the White man is not a part of it.

        • on FoxNews NATO presser, Obama says it’s hard to untangle Micah’s motive for the cop killing. YIKES! he doesn’t get it. WoW! it’s all in the media the motive was that he hated the White man, expecially those in the Blue uni’s.

    • As long as there exist differences in mentality every day behavior and very different accomplishments between races there will be racial hatred.

    • @ lokela – The final 2 groups will be the have and have nots. This world won’t be able to support the exploding population for too long so guess which group will control Earth’s fate. In fact, I’m amazed at how Oahu’s population continues to grow with no slowing down in sight. The cancer on the island is spreading, depleting or contaminating resources. Oahu is being bombarded right now, just like Kahoolawe used to be.

  • With the slaying of those 5 police officers, I would say that the divide between the black community and the police has just increased 100 times fold……

    • yes, those cops charged the enemy like soldiers at war. They fought because of their fellow officers, the shoulder to shoulder concept. Did not manner the color of skin their fellow officer was or is. They fought because of their blue uniform and patch that touches shoulder to shoulder before then open ranks, like they 300 who stood shield to shield knowing they would be overwhelmed.

      • Cops are now dealing with insurgents in friendly clothing. Just like our military men/women who went door to door trying to rid the enemy in the MidEast. Like Vietnam, the MidEast, etc. cops like troopers don’t know who the enemy are.

  • A sniper killer is a killer. The race and color of the killer is irrelevant. He is still a killer. Any given reason doesn’t alliaviate the loss of a loved one. Sincere condolences to all the families affected by this tragedy! “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main……..any man’s diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” Rest In Peace, Men in Blue! Rest In Peace!

  • The killer was inspired by the Nation of Islam’s intolerance, terrorism and vile rhetoric. Another example of the cancer of radical Islam. He was probably also fired up by demagogues like Obama, Al Sharpton, and the Black Lives Matter movement and its leader who idolizes leftist extremist Marxist racist blacks. The antics of Democrats in Congress doesn’t help, either. Plenty of culpability to go around.

      • I just don’t understand FoxNews Kelly, she had the guy I’d never ever call on as a Reverend, Jesse Jackson on her hour to let him say his say. Waiting for another one of them in the likes of Al Sharpton to pop his head up in this, lol.

    • I have personally known a group of black young men in Honolulu who joined Islam mainly because they considered it the opposite of (white) western culture.

      • Report them to the FBI. Supposedly Hawaii’s moderate Islamist/Muslims don’t think that way. If those young men do something to innocent people in the name of Allahu Akbar you’ll always have regrets knowing YOU could have made the difference.

    • If not for the depth of this tragedy it would be comical the way white killers are always “crazy” and so not responsible for their actions while black mass shooters are racist swine whose actions are dictated by genetic makeup and prodded on by some malevolent being – or two octogenarians who are rarely even in the news anymore.

  • When they finally bring to light this killer’s background, it would be interesting to see how after 4 years of reserve duty he was still only an E3 (PFC). I know promotions happen faster if you are in a combat arms MOS (infantry, armor, artillery), but to only be a PFC after 4 years?? And he served 8 months in Afghanistan and still ended up only as PFC??? Something doesn’t seem right there.

    • Yes, just as they all are. Even the ones that aren’t black. Pasting a bumper sticker over their savagery and calling it a cause is giving them way too much credit. They start with an uncontrollable impulse and then come up with an explanation later. A generous person would call it an afterthought. I call it something more akin to personal hygiene.

  • this was a setup to kill and wound the police officers the so called black life movement group which is a radical group did not get a permit to march and nowhere in dallas was this march mentioned so someone from that movement or someone in the city offices had the snipers set up and waiting for the movement of which route they were taking so they could ambush the police, this is from a talk show host who also knows a talk radio host in dallas, not Limbaugh or Hannity or beck or others mentioned this. so this was a setup.

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