The Dallas Shooting Suspect Had Military Experience

news
Micah X. Johnson served in the U.S. Army.
Photo via Facebook

On July 7, just before 9 p.m., shots rang out in downtown Dallas, Texas, during a protest over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. Initial reports suggested that multiple gunmen were involved, and that the attack had been organized as an ambush, with the shooters taking aim at police officers from an elevated position. So far, five officers have been confirmed dead, including one who had served three tours in Iraq with the Navy. Seven more officers and two civilians were also wounded in the attack. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.


After a prolonged standoff in a hotel near the scene of the shooting, Dallas police used a robot armed with a bomb to kill one of the suspected gunman, who, according to the Los Angeles Times, has been identified as Micah X. Johnson, a 25-year-old U.S. Army veteran. Before he was killed, the suspect told law enforcement officials that he was upset “with white people.” Additionally, Johnson claimed he was “not affiliated with any groups,” that he carried out the attack alone, and that he had planted bombs “all over” downtown Dallas, the city’s police chief, David Brown, said during a press conference.

“The suspect said we will eventually find the IEDs,” Brown said. “He wanted to kill officers. And he expressed killing white people, killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter.” He added: “None of that makes sense. None of that is a reason to do harm to anyone.”

Police are not yet convinced that Johnson was the only gunmen involved in the shooting. The police chief said other suspects were in custody, but did not specify how many. “I’m not going to be satisfied until we turn over every stone,” Brown said. “So if there is someone out there that was associated with this, we will find you and we will prosecute you and we will bring you to justice.”

A photo of Micah X. Johnson taken from Facebook shows him in uniform.Photo via Facebook.

So far, few details about Johnson or his military service have been made public. According to the Los Angeles Times, he lived in the Dallas area, and his immediate family lives in Mesquite Texas, east of Dallas. Following his death, Johnson’s sister posted photos of her brother on Facebook, showing the slain suspect in his military uniform. From the photos it is difficult to deduce what unit Johnson served in or any other specifics about his military service aside from the fact that he was, at least at one point, an enlisted soldier. However, a U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast that Johnson served as a corporal in the Army Reserve as part of the 284th Engineering Company, and that he deployed to Afghanistan.

According to the U.S. Army, the 284th Engineering Company is based in Seagoville, Texas, right outside of Dallas. The unit was activated for a deployment to Herat Province, Afghanistan in September 2013 and was reverted to reserve status in October 2014. A reporter at the Washington Post tweeted that Johnson was a Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W), and that he was still in the Individual Ready Reserves at the time of his death. Construction appears to have been the 284th's primary mission in Afghanistan. Dan Lamothe, another Washington Post reporter, has tweeted that, per Johnson's Army records, he was not a recipient of the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to soldiers who've engaged in direct combat with the enemy.

Suspected gunman Micah X JohnsonPhoto via Facebook

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Micah X. Johnson was not a recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon. "Combat Action Ribbon" has been changed to "Combat Action Badge," which is awarded to soldiers who've engaged in direct combat with the enemy. The Combat Action Ribbon is not an Army award. (7/8/16; 8:57pm)
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne

Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.

Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.

Read More Show Less
Joshua Yabut/Twitter

The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).

Read More Show Less