MESQUITE, Texas (AP) — The Dallas sniper had been sent home from Afghanistan after being accused of sexually harassing a female, and was described as a loner who followed black militant groups on social media.
Micah Xavier Johnson, who fatally shot five officers and wounded seven more before police killed him with a remote-controlled bomb on Friday, lived with family members in the blue-collar suburb of Mesquite, where he played basketball for hours at a time.
Friends there said the 25-year-old black man didn't seem interested in politics, but his Facebook page suggests otherwise: He "liked" black militant groups including the African American Defense League and the New Black Panther Party, which was founded in Dallas.
Micah X. Johnson, 25, had been spotted by one neighboring family conducting what looked like military training exercises in his suburban Dallas yard leading up to the shooting, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The report appeared to corroborate comments Johnson made to police that he had been training for the deadly ambush.
Friends and acquaintances told the paper that Johnson was obsessed with heavy-duty weapons and had an interest in the military that dated at least to his senior year in high school where he participated in JROTC, the high reserve officer training program.
Johnson donned a protective vest and used a military-style semi-automatic rifle in the sniper slayings Thursday. He shot 14 people, including 12 officers, at the end of an anti-police protest in downtown Dallas.
He was killed by a robot-delivered bomb Thursday after the shootings, which marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.