Dallas Morning News

By Claire Z. Cardona
Follow @clairezcardona ccardona@dallasnews.com
Published: 07 July 2016 06:14 PM
Updated: 08 July 2016 11:26 AM

Dallas citizens awoke to an increased body count Friday morning and braced for a day of mind-numbing developments about how and why a camouflage-wearing shooter turned downtown streets into a killing field.

Four Dallas police officers and a DART officer were shot and killed in a coordinated sniper attack that followed a Thursday night protest.

Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded after the peaceful demonstration against recent shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The shooter, who may have had accomplices, suggested the attack was racially motivated by revenge.

Perched in a parking garage at El Centro College, the man exchanged gunfire with officers early Friday morning before being killed by a robot-planted bomb.

The man was identified by our colleagues at KXAS-TV (NBC5) as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. A law enforcement official told CNN that Johnson had no criminal record or known ties to terrorism.

On Friday morning, Mesquite officers and crime scene investigators from Dallas were at Johnson’s home on Helen Lane.

Other people of interest were detained for questioning. At a news conference at 7:30 a.m., city officials declined to discuss details about the suspects in custody.

“Now is not the right time,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

A commander in the Dallas Police Department, however, described the shooting as a “conspiracy.” He said several people were involved in the planning, logistics and execution of the coordinated attack. He declined to elaborate and requested anonymity.

Police Chief David Brown urged Dallas to get behind its police department in the days to come.

“We don’t feel much support most days,” he said. “Let’s not make today most days.”

The shooting was the deadliest day for law officers since Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said snipers with rifles shot 12 officers and two bystanders from elevated positions about 9 p.m.

At 1:42 a.m. Friday, the Dallas Police Association tweeted that a fifth officer had died.

“We’re hurting, our profession is hurting,” Brown told reporters at the news conference. “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

The names of the Dallas police officers have not been released, but family members said Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa died in hail of gunfire.

Zamarripa’s grandmother felt uneasy as she watched news reports.

“Gimme the phone,” she told a relative. “I got to call Patricio.”

Just as bullets started flying in downtown Dallas, Kristy Villasenor took a picture at the ballpark with her 2-year-old daughter. She posted the photo to Facebook and tagged Zamarripa, the girl’s father.

“Glad Pat is there and not in Dallas right now…” a friend wrote on Facebook.

But he was downtown.

Zamarripa didn’t return texts or calls from his family. Then Martinez received news from her sister, Zamarripa’s mother. She had been told to go to Parkland Memorial Hospital.

“This isn’t supposed to happen,” Martinez said Friday as she mourned her nephew. “You always think it’s somebody else. You feel for the fallen officers when we see something on TV; we hurt. You never expect for it to happen to you.”

Another Dallas officer who died in the attack was identified as Michael Krol. According to KFDW-TV (Fox 4), Krol worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan.

“We are saddened by the loss of the dedicated officers in Dallas — one of whom was a former member of this agency — and also the wounding of the other officers,” Sheriff Beny Napoleon said in a written statement. “Those officers made the ultimate sacrifice and died honoring their oaths to protect and serve. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and also the Dallas Police Department.”

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