On Thursday afternoon, demonstrators gathered in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter rally. Gunfire from a sniper broke out just as the rally was ending, killing five police officers, wounding nine others, including two civilians.
The suspect has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was killed in a standoff with police that ended with officers deciding to use a robot wearing a bomb. Police Chief David Brown said in a press conference that Johnson, 25, had said he “wanted to kill officers, and he expressed killing white people, he expressed killing white officers” and was also angry with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Here is a map of the scene:
Here is a timeline of the shooting:
7 p.m.: Peaceful Protest Begins
The protest was organized after the shootings of two black men – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota – by police officers. Videos of the men being shot went viral on social media and once again raised questions about police brutality against African Americans.
Dallas Police were supportive of the demonstration. The department shared photos and video of the demonstration. According to the Dallas Morning News, around 800 people showed up. Police were pictured without riot gear at the event.
The route for the protest began at Belo Garden, then east down Commerce Street. The rally then turned at North Harwood, then turned west on Main Street.
Just Before 9 p.m.: Shooting Begins
Just before 9 p.m., as the protest reached El Centro College and was about to end, shots were heard. The video above shows the Fox News broadcast at 8:59 p.m., showing an officer down. At the time, the network was reporting on protests around the country and happened to have a live feed from an affiliate in Dallas on the screen.
Other videos began surfacing on social media round this time.
10:30 p.m.: Police Search for a Suspect, but He Is Later Cleared
Police initially believed that there were more than one shooter. At 10:30 p.m., Dallas police tweeted a picture of a man at the rally carrying a gun. “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him,” the tweet read.
However, the man was later cleared. His brother, Corey Hughes, told the Dallas Morning News that Mark Hughes, the man in the photo, was not the shooter. In fact, video surfaced showing Mark Hughes giving his weapon to a police officer when the shooting started.
Although Mark Hughes was cleared, the photo of him remains up on the Dallas police’s Twitter page.
11:45 p.m.: Police Begin Negotiations With Johnson
Johnson was barricaded himself up at an El Cantro College parking garage. The New York Times reports that police began negotiating with him at around 11:45 p.m. and the standoff lasted hours.
The talks with the suspect did not go well. Brown said in the Friday morning press conference that he told police he was “upset with white people and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
In an interview with CNN on July 10, Brown said that Johnson wrote the message “RB” in his own blood. Police do not know the significance of those letters. Brown also said that Johnson was planning larger attacks in Dallas.
“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement — make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color,” Brown told CNN.
Eventually, police used a bomb robot to kill Johnson because there was “no other option,” Brown said at the Friday press conference.
Sources told NBC 5 KXAS-TV that Johnson was laughing and singing during the standoff. Police did shoot him before he went into the El Centro building and found him on the second floor, a source told KXAS.
12:30 a.m.: Police Pull Over Suspect In Traffic Stop
Dallas police said that an officer spotted a man holding a camouflage bag, then getting into a black Mercedes that drove off at high speeds, reports the Associated Press. The police followed them on Interstate 35 and pulled them over. The two people inside were questioned. However, police now believe that Johnson was the only suspect, KXAS reports.
The Deceased Victim’s Identities Have Been Revealed
The identities of all five deceased officers have been released. The first was Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) authority officer Brent Thompson.
The other four officers worked for the Dallas Police Department. Two of them were officer Patrick Zarrimpa and Michael Krol.
WFAA reports that the other officers killed are Michael Smith and Lorne Aherns.
To read more about the victims, click here: