DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As authorities wrap up their investigation at the scene of Thursday night’s ambush in Dallas, it is beginning to get easier for people to move around the downtown area once again. Streets that were once barricaded are now slowly opening back up to traffic.
The roadways which remain closed on Tuesday are those closer to the entrance of El Centro College, the location where police confronted alleged sniper Micah Johnson after he opened fire on officers near the conclusion of a peaceful protest. The violent incident left five police officer dead and injured nine more, along with two civilians.
Elm Street, Lamar Street and Market Street were all opened back up to normal traffic Tuesday morning. The West End DART stations have also resumed normal operations. However, the portion of Main Street which runs directly past El Centro College is still shut down — between Market Street and Lamar Street. South Austin Street is also still closed.
State Troopers have been helping police with blocking the roads. Attorney General Ken Paxton said that he is providing these resources so that the crime can be fully investigated. Paxton on Tuesday morning also called for top-down support for police, which should begin with President Barack Obama.
President Obama is in Dallas on Tuesday to speak at a memorial for the five slain officers. “I want to hear that he’s concerned about the families, support for the families and then also just general support for our law enforcement, and just talking about the tremendous sacrifice they make,” Paxton said, “including this situation where law enforcement went out to protect people who disagree with them and then ended up putting their lives on the line for them.”
While travel throughout downtown Dallas is returning to normal, the investigation still has a long way to go. According to the Dallas Police Department, it involves more than 300 witnesses and 170 hours of body camera video. That is in addition to the surveillance video from cameras located throughout downtown.
Some of the police officers who were involved in this incident have not even had a chance to give their statements yet.
The department is taking a break from updating media about the investigation, due to the planned memorial in downtown on Tuesday and additional services in the coming days. Chief David Brown on Monday explained that this week should be about remembering, grieving and healing.
Investigators will study everything in hopes of finding out more about the alleged shooter. They are working to build a profile of Johnson including a timeline of the shooting and how long it was planned. Johnson’s family members and friends insisted that he was never the same following a tour of duty in Afghanistan, but they never saw something like this coming.
The leader of the New Black Panthers Nation in Houston said that the 25-year-old former Army Reserves member joined their group two years ago and was even a member of their security team, but he was suspended for being too radical. Johnson never did or said anything, however, that would have warranted calling the police, the group added.