CRIME
07/07/2016 10:26 pm ET Updated Jul 08, 2016

Sniper Attack Leaves 5 Police Officers Dead, 7 Injured In Dallas

“It was just an endless stream of gunshots," one witness said.
  • Dallas police identified Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army veteran, as the lone gunman in the shooting.

  • Detectives found bomb-making materials during a search of his home.

  • Johnson said he was upset about recent police shootings and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers, the police chief said. 

  • Officers detonated a robot bomb to kill Johnson after attempting to negotiate with him.

  • President Barack Obama called the attack “vicious, despicable, and calculated.”

The sniper attack in Dallas marks&nbsp;the <a href="http://www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement/deadliest.html" target="_blank">d
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The sniper attack in Dallas marks the deadliest day for police in the U.S. since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

DALLAS ― A day after a lone gunman shot and killed five police officers and injured another seven during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, marking the deadliest day for police in the U.S. since Sept. 11, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the bravery of the police force and called for a return to normalcy.

The past 24 hours have been “a veritable tale of two cities,” Abbott said in a news conference Friday evening. “On the one hand, it’s been the tale of heroism of police officers. At the same time, it’s been a tale of cowardice by an assassin."

"We need to show that we are not harmed, damaged or altered by this cowardly attack," he added.

The gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, who was killed by police, was an army veteran who said he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to the Dallas Police Department. He had no criminal history, officials said.

The attack, which also injured two civilians, came during a violent week that also saw police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. 

Officers exchanged gunfire with Johnson after negotiating with him for several hours. They ultimately detonated C4 plastic explosive strapped to a robot bomb-detector, killing Johnson.

Detectives later searched his house and found bomb-making materials, ammunition, rifles, ballistic vests and a personal journal containing “combat tactics,” officials said.

Johnson “knew how to do his damage, but we did damage to him as well,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

Three additional people who had been detained as suspects were released Friday, Abbott said.

Brent Thompson, 43, who worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit force, was killed in the attack, as were Lorne Ahrens, 48, Michael Krol, 40, Michael Smith, 55, and Patrick Zamarripa, 32, of the Dallas Police Department.

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

Police Chief David Brown&nbsp;attended the vigil.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images
Police Chief David Brown attended the vigil.

People filled Thanks-Giving Square, in the center of downtown Dallas, midday Friday for a vigil and interfaith service.

“In the end, three things remain ― faith, hope and love. We need all three today,” Rawlings said at the vigil. “We must have faith in each other, in our institutions, we must have hope that tomorrow will be better, and it will. And we must love one another.”

After the vigil ended, the downtown area was essentially empty save for the officers ― wearing black bars over their badges ― posted up on every block. Some lined up to give blood at an impromptu donation clinic inside City Hall.

Reuters

All signs pointed to the Black Lives Matter demonstration having been peaceful throughout Thursday evening. The police department Twitter account included posts about “men, women, boys and girls” gathered in solidarity, while other photos show officers posing with marchers, including a state senator

Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on&nbsp;Thursday.
LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on Thursday.

Dramatic video of the shooting showed dozens of officers converging on several buildings in downtown Dallas, including a parking garage. In another, several shots can be heard ringing out as sirens blare in the background.

“It was just an endless stream of gunshots,” Dallas attorney Allison Griswold told The Huffington Post. She watched the atrocity unfold from her living room window and posted videos on Twitter. “I started to see, later on, cops just running towards it as other people started running.”

Rawlings said Friday morning that it was “heartbreaking” to lose the police officers. “To say that our police officers put their lives on the line every day is no hyperbole, it is a reality,” he said. “We as a city, we as a country, must come together, lock arms and heal the wounds that we all feel from time to time. Words matter. Leadership matters at this time.” 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama addressed the shootings from Warsaw, Poland, where he’d been attending a meeting with NATO officials.

“There has been a vicious, despicable, and calculated attack on law enforcement,” he said. “I think I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified.”

Obama on Friday ordered all flags to stand at half-staff through July 12 as a mark of respect for the victims.

A police officer stands guard near the site of the vigil Friday.
Andy Campbell/HuffPost
A police officer stands guard near the site of the vigil Friday.

In a press conference, Attorney General Loretta Lynch urged unity.

“We must continue to build trust within communities guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law,” she said. “To brothers and sisters who wear the badge, I am deeply grateful to the dangerous work you do every day. Our hearts are broken by this loss and DOJ will do all it can to support you in days ahead.”

“Today and every day we are one nation, we are one people, and we stand together,” she said.

Broken windows after the shooting in Dallas.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Broken windows after the shooting in Dallas.

Hundreds had gathered in cities across the country earlier Thursday to protest this week’s police shootings of Alton Sterling, who was killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota.

Demonstrators were carrying signs and chanting “no justice no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot” ― common refrains of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality. 

Nick Visser contributed reporting.

READ MORE ON THE DALLAS POLICE MASSACRE

  • People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas.&nbsp;
    Eric Gay/AP
    People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. 
  • Dallas Police Chief David Brown pauses at a prayer vigil following the deaths of five police officers last night during a Bla
    Spencer Platt via Getty Images
    Dallas Police Chief David Brown pauses at a prayer vigil following the deaths of five police officers last night during a Black Live Matter march on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. 
  • LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
  • A Dallas police officer receives a hug at the headquarters, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas.&nbsp;
    Eric Gay/AP
    A Dallas police officer receives a hug at the headquarters, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. 
  • People pray at a faith vigil at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2016, following the shootings during a peace
    LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
    People pray at a faith vigil at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2016, following the shootings during a peaceful protest on July 7 which left 5 police officers dead. 
  • Ginny Alexander (R) and her mother Ariel Alexander react behind a police car that makes up part of a makeshift memorial at Po
    Carlo Allegri/Reuters
    Ginny Alexander (R) and her mother Ariel Alexander react behind a police car that makes up part of a makeshift memorial at Police Headquarters following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S.,July 8, 2016.
  • People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers are dead and
    Eric Gay/AP
    People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers are dead and several injured following a shooting during what began as a peaceful protest in the city the night before. 
  • A man raises his hat in prayer during a prayer vigil in a park following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S.,
    Carlo Allegri/Reuters
    A man raises his hat in prayer during a prayer vigil in a park following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2016. 
  • People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas.
    Eric Gay/AP
    People take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas.
  • A Dallas police officer observes a moment of silence after putting some flowers on a police car that makes up part of a makes
    Carlo Allegri/Reuters
    A Dallas police officer observes a moment of silence after putting some flowers on a police car that makes up part of a makeshift memorial at Police Headquarters following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S.,July 8, 2016. 
  • People gather in a prayer vigil following the shooting deaths of five police officers last night during a Black Live Matter m
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
    People gather in a prayer vigil following the shooting deaths of five police officers last night during a Black Live Matter march on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. 
  • Michael O'Mahoney, a former police officer, places his patch on a make-shift memorial at the Dallas police headquarters, Frid
    Eric Gay/AP
    Michael O'Mahoney, a former police officer, places his patch on a make-shift memorial at the Dallas police headquarters, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. 
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Chris Bailey walks by a makeshift memorial on Griffin Street holding a sign that reads, "Everybody Love Everybody", Friday, J
    Tony Gutierrez/AP
    Chris Bailey walks by a makeshift memorial on Griffin Street holding a sign that reads, "Everybody Love Everybody", Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. 
  • A memorial near the shooting site in Dallas on Friday, July 8, 2016.&nbsp;
    Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty Images
    A memorial near the shooting site in Dallas on Friday, July 8, 2016. 
  • A woman holds a U.S. flag during a prayer vigil in a park following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July
    Carlo Allegri/Reuters
    A woman holds a U.S. flag during a prayer vigil in a park following the multiple police shooting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2016. 
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
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