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Dallas sniper had planned a larger attack, says police chief

world Updated: Jul 10, 2016 22:10 IST
Yashwant Raj
Micah Johnson

A Dallas police officer receives flowers at a roadblock outside their headquarters on Saturday.(AP)

Micah Johnson, the Dallas sniper who killed five police officers, was planning a larger attack but fast-tracked it in view of the recent killings of African Americans.

“It appears that our search of the suspect's home in Mesquite (in Texas) leads us to believe, based on evidence of bomb-making materials and a journal, that this suspect had been practising explosive detonations and that the materials were such that it was large enough to have devastating effects throughout our city and our North Texas area,” Dallas police chief David Brown told CNN on Sunday.

The police chief added that his officers were convinced the killer “had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to make law enforcement and target law enforcement, make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of colour”.

Johnson, a US military veteran discharged over sexual harassment accusations, killed five officers and wounded seven cops and two civilians, in a sniper assault late Thursday night.

He was killed after a two-hour stand-off with police negotiators who were trying to persuade him to surrender, by an explosive device placed near him by a “bomb robot”.

Johnson had told negotiators he was upset over recent killings of African Americans by police officers and that he wanted to kill white people, specially white officers.

Brown told CNN that during negotiations, Johnson demanded to speak only with African American officers, which, Brown said, was the least of the investigators’ priorities.

A journal found at Johnson’s home gave investigators some clues on how he had planned the attack — specially “shoot and move” tactics to indicate there were more than one shooters.

The sniper also left behind scribblings on the walls around where he was killed — in his own blood — that the police are trying to decipher, specially letters “R.B.”, Brown said.