Micah Xavier Johnson, who was reportedly responsible for the July 7 shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas that killed five police officers, professed a hatred for white people during hostage negotiations. It was later revealed he had a white stepmother.
Johnson, a 25-year-old former army reservist, allegedly purposefully targeted white police officers and picked them off with an assault rifle as protesters marched in downtown Dallas. According to USA Today, the shooting is considered to be the deadliest attack on law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
"[Johnson] said he was upset about the recent police shootings," said Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown in a press conference, according to the Daily Mail. "The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially police officers."
Johnson, an Army Reserve veteran, lived 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and had served in Afghanistan. He has no criminal record and it is unclear if he has any official ties to the Black Lives Matter movement or any other political organization.
On Facebook, Johnson proclaimed himself to be a black nationalist, and the Daily Mail reports that his profile picture is of himself wearing a traditional African dashiki, holding up a clenched first, the symbol of the Black Panther movement.
Although he proclaimed a hatred for white people, his stepmother Donna Ferrier Johnson, a teacher, is white. The relationship between the two did not appear strained, according to the Daily Mail, as Johnson would proudly show pictures of her stepson in uniform on social media.
"The news will say what they think but those that knew him know this wasn't like him," wrote Johnson's sister, Nicole, on Facebook after the attacks. "This is the biggest loss we've had."
The Black Lives Matter movement was quick to isolate itself from Johnson's actions, according to the Daily Mail.
"This is a tragedy -- both for those who have been impacted by yesterday’s attack and for our democracy," the group wrote in a statement. "There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change and quicken the demise of a vibrant discourse on the human rights of Black Americans. We should reject all of this. Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it."
After a four-hour standoff with the police, Johnson was killed by a robotic bomb that was detonated by police. Brown maintained that the bomb was the only way to prevent further casualties.
"We saw no other option than to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension to detonate where the suspect was," Brown said. " [All] other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger."