WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The U.S. Army said Friday that 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, named as a suspect in the Dallas police officer shootings, served in the Army Reserve for six years and did a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The Army released a portion of Johnson’s service record that said he enlisted in March 2009 and served in the Army Reserve until April 2015. After leaving the Army Reserve, he joined the Individual Ready Reserve. The IRR is where former active duty or reserve soldiers aren’t required to train but are kept on Army personnel rolls with the potential of being called to duty. An IRR soldier can volunteer for short tours on active duty.
Johnson was a private first class and, at the time which he entered the Army, listed his home of record as Mesquite, the Army said.
His military occupational specialty was carpentry and masonry, the Army said.
The Army added that Johnson was deployed to Afghanistan in November 2013 and returned in July 2014. For that, he was given an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a campaign star. He also earned an Army Achievement Medal, an Army Service Ribbon and an Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, among other standard awards for service.
Police cornered Johnson in a parking garage at El Centro College in the downtown area immediately following the Thursday night shooting. At that point, police sent in a remote vehicle and detonated a bomb — ultimately killing him. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger,” said Chief David Brown with the Dallas Police Department.
During negotiations, Brown said that Johnson admitted to being upset over the recent string of police shootings. “The suspect said he was upset at white people,” the chief explained on Friday morning. “He said he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers.”
Johnson said that he acted alone.
Friday authorities blocked off Helen Lane in Mesquite where Johnson lived with his mother as several law enforcement agencies searched the home for evidence. They found bomb making materials, rifles, ammunition and a journal of combat tactics inside.
While many people in the neighborhood didn’t know Johnson or his mom, Jowanda Alexander, had an encounter with him a few months ago.
Alexander lives a few streets over from Johnson. Her daughter walked by his home everyday on the way to school. She said he came to her door and complained about her daughter and her friends bothering him.
“They were messing with his mailbox and he had to replace his mailbox,” said Alexander, who described Johnson as “quiet.”
“His head was down, he wasn’t looking up at me like he was nervous coming to someone’s doorstep,”she said.
Alexander said she didn’t see or think of Johnson again until she saw his picture on the news.
“My heart is still beating. This is a sniper. I don’t know what he could have done to me and my daughter at that time,” said Alexander.
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