On July 7, 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded. Johnson was an Army Reserve Afghan War veteran who was reportedly angry over police shootings of black men and stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. The shooting happened at the end of a protest against the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, which had occurred in the preceding days.
Following the shooting, Johnson fled inside a building on the campus of El Centro College. Police followed him there, and a standoff ensued. In the early hours of July 8, police killed Johnson with a bomb attached to a remote control bomb disposal robot. It was the first time U.S. law enforcement used a robot to kill a suspect.
The shooting was the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks, surpassing two related March 2009 shootings in Oakland, California, and a November 2009 ambush shooting in Lakewood, Washington, and a 2009 shooting of Pittsburgh police officers.
Five officers were killed, and nine others and two civilians were injured.
Most of the victims were shot during the protests, and at least one other during a shootout. The dead comprised four Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer. Four of the injured officers were from DPD, three were from DART, and two were from El Centro College.] Seven of the injured officers were treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Two officers underwent surgery. One civilian was shot in the back of the leg, breaking her tibia.
The officers killed were identified as:
- DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, age 48, who had been with the department since 2002.
- DPD Officer Michael Krol, 40, who had been with the department since 2007.
- DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, a former who had been with the department since 1989.
- DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43, a former enlisted Marine who had been with the department since 2009. Thompson was the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty since the department’s inception in 1989.
- DPD Officer Patricio “Patrick” Zamarripa,32, a former Navy sailor and Iraq War veteran who had been with the department since 2011.
This was the deadliest single incident for law enforcement officers in the United States since the September 11 attacks, surpassing two 2009 shootings in Lakewood, Washington, and Oakland, California, where four officers each were killed.