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Dallas shooter named by US media as army veteran Micah Johnston

The 24-year-old has served in Afghanistan in 2013/14

Published 08/07/2016

Dallas Police respond after shots were fired during a protest of fatal police shootings earlier this week in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas Police respond after shots were fired during a protest of fatal police shootings earlier this week in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

A gunman responsible for a gun attack on police in the heart of Dallas, Texas has been named by US media as Micah Xavier Johnston.

The 24-year-old is believed to be a US army veteran who served one tour in Afghanistan from November 2013 - July 14.

Five police officers were killed and seven wounded during a march against the shooting of black men by police.

Three people are in custody but it is not clear if there were other gunmen.

The protest in Dallas took place after this week's deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana.

The suspect was killed by a police robot using explosives after a stand-off with police following the attacks.

Police Chief David Brown said the gunman was angry following the recent police shootings in the US.

"He said he was upset about Black Lives Matter [protest movement]; he said he was upset about the recent police shootings," Mr Brown told a news conference," he told a news conference.

"The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

"Negotiations broke down. We had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect.

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer receives comfort at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer receives comfort at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas Police respond after shots were fired during a protest of fatal police shootings earlier this week in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Dallas protestors rallied in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile, who was killed by police less than 48 hours later in Minnesota. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)
Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
A woman takes pictures of the rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Dallas police detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas Police shield bystanders after shots were fired Thursday, July 7, 2016, during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Police officers stand guard at a baracade following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
A man holds a bat reading "Black Power" during a protest in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters march during a Black Live Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Multiple media outlets report that shots were fired later Thursday during the protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A Police officer stands guard at a baracade following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Police cars sit on Main Street in Dallas following the sniper shooting during a protest on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Police cars sit on Main Street in Dallas following the sniper shooting during a protest on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Police cars sit on Main Street in Dallas following the sniper shooting during a protest on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Bystanders stand near pollice baracades following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas police and residents stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas police stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas residents stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
A Dallas police officer walks past a closed garage entrance Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; some of the officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A mother tries to calm her daughter as Dallas police respond to shots being fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota,Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A mother covers her children as Dallas police respond to shots being fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas police move to detains a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A Dallas police officer covers his face as he stands with others outside the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas on Thursday night, killing some of the officers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Police check a car early Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas, Snipers opened fire on police officers in Dallas on Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A Dallas police vehicle that has damage to the upper rear door and a red fluid stain beneath the same door is hauled away from the Baylor University Medical Center emergency room, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas on Thursday night, killing some of the officers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
TOPSHOT - Bystanders stand near pollice baracades following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP PHOTO / Laura BuckmanLAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
A Dallas police officer, who did not want to be identified, takes a moment as she guards an intersection in the early morning after a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016. At least two snipers opened fire on police officers during protests in Dallas on Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on the extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.”

Mr Brown said earlier reports that the suspect committed suicide were not accurate.

"The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb," said Mr Brown.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the police used a robot with explosives to “blast him out”, but added he was not sure how he died or what weapons were found on him.

The suspect apparently told officers that he was upset over recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people, according to officials.

Three people are in custody, Mr Brown said. The fourth suspect died after exchanging gunfire with officers in a city centre parking garage as he reportedly made threats about bombs, according to mayor Mike Rawlings.

Police sealed off the city centre but later tweeted that primary and secondary sweeps for explosives were complete and no explosives had been found.

The gunfire broke out as hundreds of people were gathered to protest over incidents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St Paul, Minnesota.

The Dallas shootings killed four city police officers and one officer with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, which operates buses and the state of Texas's largest municipal rail system.

Mr Brown told reporters the snipers fired "ambush style" on the officers, and Mr Rawlings said two members of the public were wounded in the gunfire.

Video footage from the scene showed protesters marching about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

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

The attacks made Thursday the deadliest day in US law enforcement since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The search for the shooters stretched throughout the city centre, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The area is a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza, where President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on street corners.

"Everyone just started running," Devante Odom, 21, told the Dallas Morning News. "We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there."

Carlos Harris, who lives nearby, told the newspaper that the shooters "were strategic. It was tap, tap, pause. Tap, tap, pause".

Mr Brown said police do not have a confirmed motive for the attacks or any information on the suspects. He said they "triangulated" in the area where the protesters were marching and had "some knowledge of the route".

Video posted on social media appeared to show a gunman at ground level exchanging fire with a police officer who was then felled.

Authorities have not determined whether any protesters were involved with or were complicit in the attack.

One woman was taken into custody in the same parking garage as the stand-off, Mr Brown said. Two others were taken into custody during a traffic stop.

Mr Rawlings said at a news conference that authorities were asking people to stay away from the city centre: "This is still an active crime scene. We're determining how big that crime scene is."

A map was being posted online showing an area where people should avoid, he said.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit said in a statement that 43-year-old Brent Thompson was the first officer killed in the line of duty since the agency formed a police department in 1989.

"Our hearts are broken," the statement said.

Theresa Williams said one of the injured civilians was her sister, 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor.

Ms Williams said her sister was at the protests with her four sons, aged 12 to 17. When the shooting began, Ms Taylor threw herself over her sons, Ms Williams said. She was undergoing surgery after being shot in the right calf.

Texas governor Greg Abbott released a statement saying he had directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer "whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time".

"In times like this we must remember - and emphasise - the importance of uniting as Americans," Mr Abbott said.

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