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Dallas sniper attack: Obama has flags lowered to honor victims

Micah Xavier Johnson

LATEST UPDATES FROM CNN - http://www.ktxs.com/40413768

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

2:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama has ordered flags lowered to half-staff to honor the 12 police officers and two civilians who were shot in an attack in Dallas.

Obama's proclamation Friday applies to American flags flown at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, military installations and Navy vessels. It extends through sunset Tuesday, July 12.

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas flags to be flown at half-staff statewide during the same time period to honor the victims. Five of the officers were killed. The other seven and the two civilians were wounded.

The attack happened during what had been a peaceful protest over this week's killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Police say an armed suspect, who was a military veteran, was killed in a robot-delivered bomb blast to end a standoff. Several other people were detained for questioning.

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1:55 p.m.

A friend of a man suspected in the deadly attack on Dallas police officers says his friend was educated and "wasn't really political."

Israel Cooper says 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson "wasn't one of those, 'ah man, white cops, blacks cops, you know'" kind of people.

A Texas law enforcement official identified Johnson to The Associated Press as a suspect who was killed by police with a robot-delivered bomb. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

Cooper says he played basketball with Johnson dozens of times near Johnson's suburban Dallas house. He says the last time he saw Johnson was a about week ago and that Johnson was "cool" with a "good vibe."

Cooper says when he heard Johnson was a suspect he couldn't believe it because Johnson wasn't "a violent or rough dude."

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1:30 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an open letter to the people of Texas in response to the attack in Dallas that killed five police officers and wounded seven others.

Abbott titled the letter "A Time To Come Together," and posted it online Friday. He also provided it to The Dallas Morning News.

In the letter, Abbott asks for prayers and underlines that "every life matters." He urges Texans to come together and says "Texans are the first to open their hearts, their homes, their wallets to offer charity and love."

Abbott closes by saying he has faith in the goodness of Texas and of America, "for in the end, evil always fails."

___

1:25 p.m.

NASCAR has conducted a five-minute moment of silence to honor five Dallas police officers killed by snipers in an attack Thursday night.

Spokesman Kerry Tharp said Friday that Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Marcus Smith asked teams and drivers at Kentucky Speedway to participate in the silent tribute to coincide with the city's planned ceremony for the officers at the same time. The PA played a bagpipe recording of "Amazing Grace" when the moment of silence ended.

Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded in the attack, which took place during a protest over this week's killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

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1:20 p.m.

A Texas Republican blames the words and actions of President Barack Obama and other prominent leaders for contributing to the deadly violence that occurred between police and individuals in Dallas.

Rep. Roger Williams said in a statement Friday that the "spread of misinformation and constant instigation by prominent leaders, including our president, have contributed to the modern day hostility we are witnessing between the police and those they serve."

The shooting late Thursday left five police officers dead and seven wounded. Two civilians were also hurt.

Williams' statement contrasts with the somber tone on the House floor and the effort by Republicans and Democrats to speak with one voice against the violence.

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1 p.m.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown says a shooting attack that left five police officers dead was "well planned."

Speaking at an interfaith prayer vigil in downtown Dallas on Friday, Brown called the shootings the previous night a "well-thought-out evil tragedy," saying his force "won't rest until we bring everyone involved to justice."

Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths were represented at the vigil that was attended by hundreds.

Seven other police officers were wounded in the shooting during a protest over the killing of black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. Two civilians were also hurt, but Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has said no one suffered life-threatening injuries.

Brown has blamed "snipers," but it is unclear how many shooters were involved in Thursday's attack.

___

12:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have put off political events out of respect for five police officers fatally shot during a protest in Dallas.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has postponed a rally scheduled for Friday in Pennsylvania, but still plans to travel to Philadelphia for a scheduled appearance at the African Methodist Episcopal Convention.

Trump has canceled his plans to address Hispanics in Miami on Friday.

The presumptive Republican nominee denounced the police deaths as "a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe." Clinton says she is mourning the officers killed "while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters."

Seven other police officers and two civilians were injured in the shooting attack during the rally to protest killings of black men by white police officers.

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12:35 p.m.

Authorities have apparently finished an initial search of the home of a suspect in the deadly attack on Dallas police officers.

Agents in Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives vests on Friday carried several bags of unknown materials from 25-year-old Micah Johnson's home in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite.

Authorities stopped blocking off the street just before noon. No one answered a knock on the door at the home.

A Texas law enforcement official identified Johnson to The Associated Press as a suspect who was killed by police with a robot-delivered bomb. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

The attack began Thursday at a downtown Dallas protest over the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

___

12:20 p.m.

The Army says Micah Xavier Johnson, named as a suspect in the Dallas police shootings, served in the Army Reserve and did one tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Army says Johnson was a private first class and his home of record is Mesquite, Texas. His military occupational specialty was carpentry and masonry.

His service dates, as provided by the Army, are March 2009 to April 2015.

The Army says Johnson deployed to Afghanistan in November 2013 and returned in July 2014.

___

12:15 p.m.

One of the organizers of the downtown Dallas protest where five police officers were shot and killed says he doesn't recognize a man identified as a suspected shooter.

Pastor Jeff Hood said Friday that he had never heard of 25-year-old Micah Johnson. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Johnson is the suspect who died in a lengthy overnight standoff with police.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he was not authorized to release the information. Dallas Police Chief David Brown says the suspect in the standoff had told police he was acting alone and wasn't affiliated with a group.

Hood says he began screaming "active shooter!" at hundreds of fellow demonstrators once gunfire erupted at the march to protest the recent fatal shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

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11:50 a.m.

Some Black Lives Matter supporters are condemning the slayings of police in Dallas during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

New York Daily News columnist Shaun King says on Twitter that he hates police brutality but doesn't hate police. He says: "This violence is wrong on every level."

Center for Media Justice director Malkia Cyril says her "heart hurts for the dead."

Cyril and King also defended the Black Lives Matter movement.

She writes that it "advocates dignity, justice and freedom, not the murder of cops." King says anyone blaming Black Lives Matter "is sick." He says protesters were peaceful and the shootings "terrorized them too."

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11:45 a.m.

A former Illinois congressman is standing by a Twitter post he sent after the fatal shooting of police officers in Dallas in which he warned President Barack Obama to "Watch out."

Joe Walsh told The Associated Press on Friday that he didn't intend to incite violence against Obama or anyone else. He says "that's just stupid" and "would be wrong and reprehensible."

The one-term Republican congressman and radio host from suburban Chicago posted the tweet after five police officers were killed and seven wounded during a protest of fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

His tweet read: "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you."

The post has been deleted.

___

11:40 a.m.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation into a shooting in downtown Dallas that left five police officers dead.

The agency said Friday that it won't immediately release information about the type of weapons used in the attack during a demonstration Thursday to protest the killing of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota by white police officers.

Officers at the scene of the shooting say some kind of rifle was used.

Weapons such as the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle are easy to fire and generally accurate. Little or no training is required to fire such weapons and they are widely available.

Seven officers and two civilians were also wounded in the attack.

___

11:30 a.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is calling for peace and calm in the wake of the attack on police officers in Dallas, saying that violence is never the answer.

Lynch said Friday at the Justice Department in Washington that it has been a week of heartbreak and loss for the nation.

Five police officers were killed by gunfire in Dallas Thursday night at a peaceful protest march prompted by the shootings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Lynch says the spate of violence can't be allowed to "precipitate a new normal." Calling the Dallas attack "an unfathomable tragedy," she says those concerned about suspect killings by police should not be discouraged "by those who use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence."

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11:15 a.m.

Investigators can be seen walking in and out of a suburban Dallas house believed to be that of a man suspected in the overnight attack that killed five Dallas police officers and wounded seven others.

About a half-dozen police vehicles are parked outside the two-story brick home in Mesquite thought to be that of Micah Johnson.

Authorities haven't publicly disclosed the name of a suspect whom police killed with a robot-delivered bomb after negotiations failed. But a law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information told The Associated Press that he was 25-year-old Micah Johnson.

Mesquite authorities say they were at the home to assist Dallas investigators.

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10:50 a.m.

The president of the NAACP is calling for policies, not handwringing, in the wake of the deadly attack on police in Dallas.

(PHOTOS of Dallas gunman Micah Xavier Johnson -} http://www.ktxs.com/40419322)

Cornell William Brooks made the comment in an interview Friday on "CBS This Morning." He says that includes establishing a national standard for excessive use of force and federal laws that address police accountability and community trust.

The attack began Thursday night at a protest over recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded and police killed a suspect.

Brooks says citizens are afraid and capturing more fatal shootings by police on video due to a minority of officers "who defile the profession by their conduct."

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10:20 a.m.

A robotics expert says Dallas police appear to be the first law enforcement agency to use a robot to kill.

Peter W. Singer, of the New America Foundation, says the killing of a suspect in Thursday night's fatal shooting of five police officers is the first instance of which he's aware of a robot being used lethally by police.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters that after hours of failed negotiations and in order to not put any officers in harm's way, his department used a robot to deliver a bomb that killed the suspect. Brown said they saw no other option.

Singer said in an email Friday that when he was researching his 2009 book "Wired for War" a U.S. soldier told him troops in Iraq sometimes used MARCbot surveillance robots against insurgents.

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10:10 a.m.

A Texas law enforcement official has told The Associated Press that a slain suspect in the attack on Dallas police was 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he was not authorized to release the information. There were no immediate details on the suspect's middle name or hometown.

The attack began Thursday night during a protest about the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

Police Chief David Brown said Friday that his department used a robot-delivered bomb to kill a suspect after hours of negotiations failed. He says the suspect expressed anger over recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

___

9:40 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says anger over the police shootings in Dallas must not be allowed to harden the nation's divisions.

Speaking Friday on the House Floor, Ryan said that "justice will be done."

He says it's been a "long month for America" and that the nation has seen terrible and senseless things.

But he says that in debating how to respond, "let's not lose sight of the values that unite us, our common humanity."

Ryan says: "A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us; they do not control us."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took the floor after Ryan, joining in his expression of grief and thanking Dallas police officers for their service.

Pelosi says: "Justice will be done, justice must be done. Also mercy must be done."

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9:10 a.m.

Dallas' police chief says a suspect in the deadly overnight attack on police officers told negotiators that he acted alone and was unaffiliated with any group.

Chief David Brown said at a news conference Friday that the suspect also said he was upset about recent police shootings and wanted to kill white people, particularly white officers.

He says officers killed the suspect with a robot-delivered bomb after hours of negotiations failed.

Although Brown says the suspect said he acted alone, it remains unclear if that was the case. He said earlier Friday that three other suspects were in custody, but he later declined to discuss those detentions and said police still didn't know if investigators had accounted for all participants in the attack.

The attack began Thursday night during a protest about the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

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8:45 a.m.

The Dallas transit police chief says an officer who was fatally shot during a downtown protest was a newlywed whose bride also works for the police force.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit police Chief James Spiller described Officer Brent Thompson on Friday as a "courageous" and "great guy."

Thompson was among five police officers killed during a Thursday night demonstration to protest police shooting deaths of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Spiller says Thompson got married two weeks ago. His wife, Emily, was not on duty at the protest.

The police chief last spoke to Thompson on Tuesday as they passed each other in a hallway. Spiller says he asked how the newlyweds were doing and how things were going with Thompson's job.

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8:15 a.m.

Mayor Mike Rawlings says a bullet went straight through the leg of one police officer as snipers fatally shot three members of his squad during a protest in downtown Dallas.

Rawlings, who says he spoke to the wounded officer, said Friday that the officer expressed sorrow at his loss and that he felt "people don't understand the danger of dealing with a protest."

The mayor says it's important to uphold the right of people to protest, but that more care needs to be taken to ensure the safety of police officers at such events.

Snipers shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven more at the demonstration Thursday evening to protest the police killing of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Two civilians were also injured.

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8:10 a.m.

Police Chief David Brown says authorities are still not certain that they have identified everyone involved in an attack on a downtown protest march that killed five police officers.

Brown said Friday that investigators have not ruled out that others may have been involved in the attacks that left a total of 12 officers and two civilians shot.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says an overnight standoff with one suspect in a parking garage ended when police detonated an explosive about four hours after the attack began. Authorities say the explosive was attached to a robot to protect officers.

Brown would not reveal any details about other potential suspects that have been detained by police and interviewed.

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7:55 a.m.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown says a suspect in the overnight attack that killed five police officers, wounded seven others and wounded two civilians said he was upset over the recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people.

Brown said at a news conference Friday that the suspect made the comments before he was killed by an explosive used by police.

He says his department and their families are grieving and that the divisiveness between police and the public must stop.

Authorities say snipers opened fire on police officers during a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas Thursday night over the recent fatal shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Authorities say three other suspects were arrested.

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7:42 a.m.

Dallas Police Chief David O'Neal Brown says the suspect in the sniper attack that killed five officers late Thursday was upset about recent police-involved shootings and wanted to kill whites, especially white officers.

In addition, Brown said the suspect was killed by a bomb that authorities detonated. That is contrary to initial reports that said the suspect killed himself,

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7 a.m.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says 12 officers and two civilians were shot during a downtown protest march.

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5:45 a.m.

Dallas police say no explosives have been found in extensive sweeps of downtown areas following the fatal shooting of five police officers and the wounding of six others by snipers.

Security was tight Friday morning with numerous streets closed to vehicle traffic in the main downtown Dallas business district hours after Thursday night's attacks.

The gunfire happened during protests over this week's fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota of two black men. Police have detained at least three people in the investigation of the Dallas shootings.

Police said a fourth suspect was engaged in a standoff with authorities and had made threats about bombs.

Maj. Max Geron (GAYR'-uhn) tweeted before dawn Friday that primary and secondary sweeps for explosives were complete and no explosives were found.

The gunfire claimed the lives of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. DART serves Dallas and a dozen other North Texas cities. The transit agency operates buses and the state's largest municipal rail system.

___

5:20 a.m.

A memorial group says the slaying of five police officers in Dallas in an attack blamed on snipers was the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer were fatally shot Thursday night. The gunfire happened during protests over this week's fatal police shootings of two black men, in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Six other officers were wounded in the Dallas attacks.

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 group labels that attack as the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history.

___

4:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama says America is "horrified" over the shootings of police officers in Dallas and there's no possible justification for the attacks.

Obama is speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where he's meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit.

Obama says justice will be done and he's asking all Americans to pray for the fallen officers and their families. He also says the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.

Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas Thursday evening, killing five officers and injuring six others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.

Obama said earlier there was no contradiction between supporting law enforcement and making certain biases in the justice system are rooted out.

2:30 a.m.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit has identified its officer who was fatally shot when snipers opened fire during a downtown Dallas protest.

DART said early Friday morning that 43-year-old officer Brent Thompson was killed in the Thursday night shootings. He'd joined the DART Police Department in 2009.

DART says he's the first officer killed in the line of duty since the agency formed a police department in 1989. The statement says "our hearts are broken."

DART says the other three DART police officers shot during the protest are expected to recover from their injuries.

Also killed during the shootings were four Dallas police officers.

___

2:10 a.m.

Police say a fifth officer has died after snipers opened fire on police at a rally in Dallas. Six other officers were injured.

The gunfire broke out Thursday night while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Three people are in custody and a fourth suspect was exchanging gunfire with authorities in a parking garage downtown early Friday.

11:35 p.m. Dallas police say a suspect in shooting of officers at Dallas protests is in custody and a person of interest has surrendered. Dallas police say four officers have died after at least two snipers opened fire during protests downtown Thursday night. Seven other officers were wounded. Police Chief David O. Brown said snipers shot from "elevated positions" during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

11:05 p.m.

Dallas police say four officers have died after at least two snipers opened fire during protests downtown. Seven other officers were wounded. Police Chief David O. Brown said police have a suspect cornered in a garage and are negotiating with that person. He says the snipers fired upon officers "ambush style." Brown had said three officers were killed, and police issued a tweet later saying a fourth officer had died. Brown says snipers shot from "elevated positions" during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover. __

10:45 p.m. The Dallas police chief says it appears two snipers shot 10 police officers during protests, and three of the officers are dead. Police Chief David O. Brown said in a statement that three of the officers who were injured are in critical condition Thursday night. He says the snipers shot from "elevated positions" during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover. __ 10:45 p.m. Dallas police chief says it appears two snipers shot 10 police officers during protests, and three of the officers are dead. Dallas police chief David O. Brown said in a statement that three of the officers who were injured are in critical condition Thursday night. The officers were shut during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. 10:30 p.m. Police say one rapid-transit officer has been killed and three injured when gunfire erupted during a protest in downtown Dallas. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit issued the news via its official Twitter account. The agency said the three injured officers were expected to survive. No identifications were released. ___ 10:15 p.m. Police in Dallas say they're trying to sort through what happened when gunshots rang out during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. The police statement comes as multiple media outlets report that two officers were shot. There has been no official confirmation of that. Dallas Police Sr. Corporal Debra Webb said in the statement that police were sorting through information at what was "clearly still an active scene." The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover. ___ 9 p.m. Multiple media outlets report shots have been fired at a Dallas protest over two recent fatal police shootings. The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover. There was no immediate word on whether anyone had been injured. Scores of police and security officers were on hand. A police dispatcher reached by The Associated Press had no immediate comment. ___ 6:45 p.m. Hundreds of people gathered in Union Square Park in Manhattan and took to the streets to protest the recent police-related shootings of two black men. The protesters on Thursday chanted "The people united, never be divided" and "Hands up don't shoot." Police scrambled to keep up with the crowd as the group left the park and marched up Fifth Avenue. 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.

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