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dallas shooting
July 10, 2016

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Sunday that Micah Johnson, the gunman who killed five police officers Thursday night, appeared to have been planning a bigger attack.

Brown told CNN during a search of Johnson's home, authorities found evidence of bomb-making materials and a journal that indicated he had practiced detonations. "We are convinced that the suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to make law enforcement … pay for what he sees as law enforcement's effort to punish people of color," he said.

Brown also said police believe the deadly officer-involved shootings of Alton Sterling Tuesday in Louisiana and Philando Castile Wednesday in Minnesota caused Johnson to "fast track" his plans to attack law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

July 10, 2016

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush will speak Tuesday in Dallas at an interfaith memorial service for five police officers killed last week during an ambush targeting law enforcement.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement Sunday that Obama was invited by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and the president will meet with the families of the officers. In a later statement, it was announced that Bush, a former governor of Texas, would also attend. The service will take place at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, with Vice President Joe Biden and former first lady Laura Bush also in attendance. Obama is cutting short a European trip to visit Dallas, and thanked the people of Spain and King Felipe VI for "understanding" that his trip had to be abbreviated due to a "difficult week back in the United States." Catherine Garcia

July 10, 2016

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said on CNN Sunday the suspect in Thursday's deadly attack on officers, Micah Xavier Johnson, wrote the letters "R" and "B" in his own blood on the walls of the parking garage where he died. Police are still investigating the meaning of the message, which they believe Johnson inscribed before he was hit with a robot-operated bomb officers detonated to kill him.

Brown also defended the choice to use the bomb, which critics have suggested went too far in blurring the distinction between policing and warfare. "You have to trust your people to make the calls," he said. "We believe that we saved lives by making this decision."

Noting that investigators believe Johnson initially planned a larger attack well before this past week, Brown added, "I appreciate critics, but they're not on the ground, their lives are not being put at risk by debating what tactics to take." Bonnie Kristian

July 10, 2016

The sniper who killed five officers and injured several more in Dallas Thursday night before being killed by police had trained himself in advance of his deadly rampage. An Army veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan before being discharged under accusation of sexual harassment, Micah Xavier Johnson was seen performing military-style drills at his Texas home.

He also practiced "shoot and move" techniques — in which the attacker changes location after each round of gunfire — at a "self-defense and personal protection" gym in Fort Worth, Texas, which describes itself as a provider of "reality based training for today's urban environment." Johnson's movement patterns originally led to inaccurate reports of multiple snipers in Dallas instead of a lone gunman.

The gym's owner has disavowed all association with Johnson and says many of his facility's members are police officers themselves. "It's disgusting, what he did," the owner said. "I'm disgusted." Bonnie Kristian

July 8, 2016

When police finally ended their standoff with Dallas shooting suspect Micah X. Johnson, they did it not with a gun, but with an explosive device. As Dallas Police Chief David Brown explained at a Friday morning press conference, authorities saw "no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was." This tactic lessened officers' exposure to "grave danger," Brown explained.

But, The Atlantic reported Friday, it also is likely to bring up "intense ethical debates about when and how police deploy robots in this matter." Here's Seth Stoughton, assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina, defending police use of deadly robots:

"The circumstances that justify lethal force justify lethal force in essentially every form," he said. "If someone is shooting at the police, the police are, generally speaking, going to be authorized to eliminate that threat by shooting them, or by stabbing them with a knife, or by running them over with a vehicle. Once lethal force is justified and appropriate, the method of delivery — I doubt it's legally relevant." [The Atlantic]

Head over to The Atlantic to read the full story on bomb robots, and how they could shape the future of security. Becca Stanek

July 8, 2016

The Army confirmed Friday that the Dallas shooting suspect killed in a standoff with police was a veteran. Micah X. Johnson, a 25-year-old living outside of Dallas, had served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a junior enlisted soldier and completed a tour in Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported. He was a "carpentry and masonry specialist," CNN reported, and though he likely got basic training on firearms it is "unclear whether he received more advanced training."

Before police used explosives to "blast him out," Johnson told police that he was "upset" about Black Lives Matter and the "recent police shootings," and that he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." He told authorities that he had acted alone and was not "affiliated with any groups," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday.

Twelve police officers and two civilians were shot at the end of a peaceful protest against officer-related shootings in Dallas late Thursday evening. Five officers have died. Becca Stanek

July 8, 2016

On Friday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this last week has been one of "profound grief and heartbreaking loss" following two police-involved shootings of black men, and Thursday's sniper attacks on Dallas police that killed five officers. She addressed the sense of helplessness and fear gripping the country, but called on Americans to react not with violence, but with peaceful action. "We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement," she said. "We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law." Lynch also said the Department of Justice is working closely with local Dallas authorities to investigate the attack.

She ended her address with a call to peaceful protesters, like those marching before shots rang out in downtown Dallas Thursday night: "Your voice is important," she said. "Do not be discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence. We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future."

You can read Lynch's full statement here. Jessica Hullinger

July 8, 2016

Authorities have identified the Dallas shooting suspect killed after a standoff with police as 25-year-old Micah X. Johnson. He lived just east of Dallas, in Mesquite, Texas, and a law enforcement official said that he has "no known criminal history or ties to terror groups," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Johnson was killed after police used explosives to "blast him out," following an hours-long negotiation. Before he was killed, Johnson admitted that he was upset with Black Lives Matter, with "white people," and with "recent police shootings," and that he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said. Becca Stanek

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