Dallas police officers killed a sniper involved in the deadly sniper shootings Thursday night by sending in a bomb robot and detonating an explosive, Police Chief David Brown said Friday morning.
"We cornered one suspect and we tried to negotiate for several hours," Brown said during a press conference Friday morning about the standoff near the garage at El Centro College in downtown Dallas.
The dead suspect, who was not named at the press conference, was identified by two law enforcement officials as Micah X. Johnson, 25, a resident of the Dallas area, the Los Angeles Times reported, adding that he was not known to have ties to terror groups and did not have a criminal record. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
"Negotiations broke down. We had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. 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," Brown said.
During the lengthy negotiations, the suspect told police "the end is coming," Brown said.
Brown made a point to say that earl reports that the suspect committed suicide are not accurate.
"The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb," said Brown. "Our hostage negotiator did an exceptional job getting this suspect to talk before he died, during the hours of negotiating that eventually broke down."
During the negotiations, the suspect told police he was "upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people.
"The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. The suspect stated he will eventually — that we will eventually find IEDs," said Brown, referring to improvised explosive devices.
Further questions about the suspect would be "speculation to answer," said Brown.
"We can't get into the head of a person who can do something like this," Brown said. "We negotiated with the person. They seemed lucid during the negotiation. He wanted to kill officers. He expressed killing white people. He expressed killing white officers. He expressed anger for Black Lives Matter. None of that makes sense. None of that is a reason, legitimate reason, to do harm to anyone. So the rest of it would be speculating. We just know what he said."
Further, said Brown, the suspect denied he was affiliated with any outside groups, and said he "did act alone." The chief promised that anyone else involved in the deadly attack will be captured.
Other things the suspect said are part of the official investigation, said Brown, and are not being released at this time, "so that we can make sure that everyone associated with this tragic event is brought to justice."
Brown declined to say how many people took part in the attack.
"We're going to keep these suspects guessing," he told reporters at City Hall.
Police said they were questioning two occupants of a Mercedes they had pulled over after seeing a man throwing a camouflage bag inside the back of the vehicle, which then sped off on a downtown street. A woman was also taken into custody near the garage where the standoff took place.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said during the press conference that no information is being released about the three suspects in custody.
Rawlings said those suspects were "not being cooperative" with police investigators.
He told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program earlier that the suspects are not talking and investigators are not ruling out anything, even terrorism.
Brown praised Dallas' police officers and DART (Transit Authority) officers as "some of the bravest men and women you ever want to be associated with," and that he and his department are "heartbroken."
"You see video footage after video footage of them running towards gunfire from an elevated position with no chance to protect themselves and to put themselves in harm's way to make sure citizens can get to a place of security," Brown said. "So please join me in applauding these brave men and women who do this job under great scrutiny under great vulnerability, who literally risk their lives to protect our democracy. We don't feel much support most days. Let's not make today most days. Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these who carried out this tragic, tragic event. Pray for these families."
Rawlings said a DART officer was among those killed in the ambush.
A leadership group of interfaith ministers will lead a prayer service at noon in Dallas, said the mayor, and he asks that everyone join in, in their homes or offices to bring the city of Dallas and the country together.
"I think it's important for citizens to realize we want to give everybody freedom of speech," said Rawlings. "We have been through several protests in the last five or six years and they have all gone in a safe manner but the chief makes decisions at times that people could be critical of do you put too much body armor on? If we are being critical of these things, think about today.
"This is what you're risking if you don't do it right. From a policy standpoint we believe in the right to protest but we believe in keeping our police officers safe. I know I will redouble my effort on that."
With Thursday's attack, 26 police officers have been shot and killed in the United States so far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That is up 44 percent from the 18 officers slain in the same period in 2015, the group said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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