The sniper who killed five police officers and injured seven other people in Dallas has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Johnson.
Johnson, who lived in Mesquite, Texas, was an Army veteran who served from 2009 to 2015. In recent years he lived with his mother and worked for a company that provided services to mentally challenged children and adults. During a negotiation with police, Johnson said that he was not affiliated with any group but that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers, according to The Daily Beast.
Here’s everything we know so far about Micah Johnson’s military service.
1. He Joined the Army Right Out of High School
Micah Xavier Johnson grew up in Mesquite, Texas, and he graduated in 2009 from John Horn High School.
According to NBC News, he joined the Army Reserves right out of high school. Friends of Johnson’s say that he was interested in the military and in guns from when he was a teenager, according to the Dallas Morning News. After basic training, he focused on carpentry and masonry. Carpentry would later become his focus when he was deployed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, although Johnson’s focus was carpentry and masonry, in basic combat training Johnson would have been trained to use machine guns and other weapons. It is not yet clear if Johnson had advanced marksmanship training, according to Military.com. A friend of Johnson’s who served with him in Afghanistan told Fox News that Johnson owned a lot of guns but that “his shots were terrible.”
In an employment application from January, Johnson said, “I was specifically trained in laying the foundation, framing, interior finishing, exterior finishing, electrical wiring, and plumbing to complete desired building.”
According to The Daily Mail, Johnson’s father may have also have served in the military.
2. He Worked at a Truck Plant Before Being Deployed
Johnson was a part of a reserves unit in Seagoville, Texas for four years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Typically, members of the reserves will spend one weekend a month on duty and will spend another two weeks per year training.
During the rest of the year, Johnson worked a variety of jobs, including a position at the International Truck Plant in Garland, Texas. He reportedly worked on Army vehicles while employed for this plant, according to NBC News.
He also distributed flyers for Fly Guys Distribution Company, and in 2010 he was a shift manager at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop.
Four years after joining the Army Reserves, Johnson began active duty.
3. He Was Deployed to Afghanistan in 2013
In 2013, Johnson was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served from 2013 to 2014. He was stationed at Bagram Air Base, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, a U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast.
According to NBC News, he made use of his carpentry training while deployed with the 420th Engineer Brigade, working construction on various military bases. He also served as a guard.
Despite the fact that Johnson used a sniper to shoot down 12 people and was reportedly wearing body armor during the shooting, it does not appear that he was ever in combat while with the U.S. Army. According to The Daily Beast, Johnson had in his free time attended a gym that taught weapons classes.
When negotiating with Dallas police, Johnson identified himself as a U.S. veteran. And a neighbor of Johnson’s told The Wall Street Journal that he had discussed his time in the military her.
4. He Was Accused of Sexually Harassing a Female Soldier
Those who served with Johnson in Afghanistan have been told not to talk to reporters. But a military lawyer who represented the man told The Dallas Morning News that Johnson had to leave Afghanistan after being accused of sexually harassing a female soldier.
This woman asked for a protective order and requested that Johnson receive mental help. The Dallas Morning News notes that this type of discipline is unusual, as sexual harassment in the military is traditionally disciplined with counseling.
“He was very much disliked by his command, that was clear,” military attorney Bradford Glendening said of Johnson.
Johnson’s mother, Donna Ferrier Johnson, seemed to be quite proud of her son’s time in the army, sharing several pictures of him in uniform on her Facebook page.
5. He Left the Army Reserve in 2015
In 2015, he transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve, meaning he would no longer be connected to a unit or be required to participate in drills, according to NBC News.
After leaving the reserves, he began working for a company called Touch of Kindness, where his job was to transport mentally challenged kids and adults to appointments and to retail stores.
He continued to work at this company until as recently as this week.
A friend of Johnson’s who served with him in Afghanistan said that when Johnson returned home he began to change, according to Fox News.
“When he came back from Afghanistan, he got in touch with some bad folks and went all Black Panther,” he said.
Another family friend agreed, telling the Dallas Morning News he was different after coming home.
“He was withdrawn, didn’t want to talk to people anymore, didn’t believe in God anymore,” a friend of Johnson’s mother said.
She also noted that Johnson’s interest in guns increased after he came home.