The mayor of Dallas said Friday that he believed the gunman who attacked police Thursday night acted alone.
“We believe, given the facts that we have today, that Mr. Johnson, now deceased, was the lone shooter in this incident,” mayor Mike Rawlings said in a press conference. “By piecing together what was happening at the time after we talked to and interviewed all the officers … there was confusion with everybody running around, but this was a mobile shooter that had written manifestos on how to shoot and move.”
Rawlings was referring to a man identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, an Army veteran who Dallas police say was outfitted in body armor, exacting maximum damage during a peaceful protest to decry the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minn., in the previous days.
“This was a mobile shooter that had written manifestos on how to shoot and move,” Rawlings said. “He did that. He did his damage. But we did our damage to him, too.”
Johnson was killed by a bomb-detonating robot after negotiations reportedly broke down with authorities.
Initial police reports said that as many as four people were involved in the shooting melee, including a woman, but those who were held and questioned by police have been released, Rawlings confirmed.
Rawlings noted that when the shooting started, police spotted 20 people in “camo gear,” but they were not shooters. We know that shortly after the murders, Dallas police hastily released a photo of Mark Hughes, a black man who was carrying a gun during the demonstration but was later provided an alibi after those on social media released video of him.
Mayor Rawlings is also being praised in some corners for his candid assessment of the current situation and how racial disparities brought us to this place.
“We will not shy away from the fact that we as a city, as a state, and as a nation are struggling with racial issues,” said Rawlings. “They continue to divide us. Yes, it’s that word, ‘race,’ and we’ve got to attack it head on.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the state’s former attorney general, said that he would not rule out potential accomplices. “I want to make sure we button down every corner before we rule out any potential co-conspirators,” Abbott said. “We do not know who might have known what the gunman was going to do.”
Abbott reportedly met with Dallas Police Chief David Brown before joining Rawlings for the Friday briefing.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.