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Suspect in Dallas police shooting that killed 5 cops ‘wanted to kill white people’

LATEST UPDATES:

  • Vigil held in Dallas for shooting victims. 
  • Police have identified a gunman as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson. Officials said Johnson was killed by a police “bomb robot”
  • 5 police officers were killed in Dallas; including a transit officer. 
  • 7 other officers were wounded, along with 2 civilians.
  • Three suspects taken into custody.
  • Officers were shot at a protest against recent police killings of African-American men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

The chief of Dallas police said Friday morning that the suspect accused of killing five police officers Thursday told negotiators he wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”

A large portion of downtown Dallas remained in lockdown during the morning after the “ambush-style” attack during a peaceful protest Thursday night. Seven other officers were wounded.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. local time while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown told reporters that “snipers” fired “ambush style” on the officers.

“We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city,” Brown said Friday.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday evening that officials now believe 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson was a lone shooter.

When authorities searched the home of Johnson on Friday they found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics. Among his Facebook “likes” were the African American Defence League and the New Black Panther Party, which was founded in Dallas. He also was a member of the Facebook group “Black Panther Party Mississippi.” A photo on Facebook showed Johnson wearing a dashiki – his raised, clinched fist over the words “Black Power.”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says shooting suspect Micah Xavier Johnson was lone shooter
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says shooting suspect Micah Xavier Johnson was lone shooter

READ MORE: What we know and don’t know about the ‘ambush’ on police officers

The suspect was holed up at a parking garage in El Centro College and was exchanging gunfire with police. A Dallas city official confirmed the standoff ended around 3:30 a.m. local time.

NBC affiliate KXAS reports the suspect was “neutralized” after threatening the “end is coming” for police officers.

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Early Friday, Rawlings told reporters the suspect died after police used explosives to “blast him out.” The mayor said he was unsure of what weapons were found at the scene.

During a morning press conference, Brown said the suspect was upset with the recent shootings and “wanted to kill white people, white police officers.”

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“The suspect said he was upset with Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset with the recent police shootings,” Brown said, describing the conversation between the suspect and negotiators.

“The suspected stated we will eventually find the IEDs,” Brown said.

Earlier, there were reports of explosives set in the area where the standoff took place. However, police swept the area and no explosives were found.

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The police chief said the suspect said he wasn’t affiliated with any groups and acted alone.

After several hours of negotiations, the chief said officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect and eventually were forced to use a bomb disposal robot to detonate an explosive where the suspect was.

“Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger,” Brown said.

READ MORE: What we know about the suspected Dallas police shooter

Friday afternoon, the Associated Press reported the U.S. Army saying that the suspect — Micah Xavier Johnson — served in the Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015 and completed one tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Johnson was a private first class and worked as a carpentry and masonry specialist.

AUDIO: Dramatic recording of Dallas 911 dispatch captures chaos as shooting unfolded
AUDIO: Dramatic recording of Dallas 911 dispatch captures chaos as shooting unfolded
AUDIO: Dramatic recording of Dallas 911 dispatch captures chaos as shooting unfolded

The official Twitter account of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) confirmed one of the officers killed was a transit officer saying, “Four DART police officers were shot in downtown Dallas. 1 deceased, others not life-threatening.”

The deceased DART officer has been identified as 43-year-old Brent Thompson. He joined the force in 2009.

DART Chief James Spiller told TODAY on Friday that Thompson was a great officer who served as a patrol officer.

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“Brent was recently married in the last two weeks, so this is very heartbreaking for us, not only for that reason, but because we lost a member in blue,” Spiller said.

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Michael Krol has also been identified as one of the fallen officers.

A native of Michigan, Krol moved to Dallas in 2007 to join the city’s police department.

“He always wanted to be a cop,” Brian Schoenbaechler, Krol’s brother-in-law, told The Detroit News. “He always wanted to help and serve other people.”

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Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, 48, was identified by friends and family on social media as one of the Dallas police victims.

Ahrens served with the Dallas Police Department for 14 years, according to the Dallas Morning News.

According to several media reports Patrick Zamarripa was among those killed. His father Rick Zamarripa confirmed in a Facebook post that his son was fatally shot by a sniper.

“Most of you already know this by now today in Dallas , my son is a police officer in Dallas he was working there the rally in downtown where my son was shot and killed by a sniper along with four other police officers maybe more at this moment I’m still at the hospital here in Parkland Hospital to see him be moved to the medical examiner’s office ,, need prayers to get through this,” Rick wrote.

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WFAA also identified Michael Smith, 55, as one of the victims.

READ MORE: What we know about the 5 police officers killed

During a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are in Dallas working with local law enforcement.

“This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss,” Lynch said.

Lynch said the Justice Department will provide any assistance needed in the investigation.

WATCH: Attorney general reflects on ‘week of grief and loss’ following multiple shooting incidents
Attorney General reflects on ‘week of grief and loss’ following multiple shooting incidents
Attorney General reflects on ‘week of grief and loss’ following multiple shooting incidents

The attorney general said that Americans are feeling a sense of “helplessness, uncertainty and fear” as a result of the events this week.

“These feelings are understandable and they are justified, but the answer must not be violence,” Lynch said. “The answer is never violence.”

While calling for calm and peace in the wake of yesterday’s attack on police, Lynch urged Americans to continue to build trust between local communities and law enforcement across the country.

“To all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country,” the attorney general said.

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WATCH: Attorney general says recent spate of shootings means US must take “hard look” at gun laws
US Attorney General says recent spate of shootings means US must take “hard look” at gun laws
US Attorney General says recent spate of shootings means US must take “hard look” at gun laws

U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday morning he was “horrified” at the Dallas attack and those responsible would be held “fully accountable.”

“We still don’t know all the facts but we know that there has been a vicious, despicable and calculated attack on law enforcement,” Obama said following a meeting with European officials at a NATO summit in Poland.

“We are horrified over these events and we stand unified with the people and the police department in Dallas.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to condemn the “cowardly attack.”

“Canadians are shocked by the cowardly attacks against police in Dallas. Our solidarity is with all victims of violence on this tragic week,” the prime minister said.

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

Brown said that it appeared the shooters “planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could.”

Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

The slaying of five police officers in Dallas was the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which monitors the deaths of officers, reports 72 officers were killed as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

The area is only a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Some of the injured officers were taken to Parkland Hospital, the same hospital Kennedy was taken to.

The fatal police shootings occurred in a week when two black men were killed by officers in a span of 24 hours.

On Wednesday, a Minnesota officer fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child in a St. Paul suburb. The aftermath of the shooting was purportedly 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.

-With files from The Associated Press

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