DALLAS (CBS11) – One year later, the July 7 ambush on police officers in downtown Dallas is still considered an open investigation, therefore; an official account of events from that night have never been made public.
Four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer were killed. Another nine police officers were injured along with two civilians.
The gunman, Micah Johnson, was also killed by a police department bomb.
In all, eleven officers, along with the gunman, fired a weapon on what turned out to be the deadliest incident for law enforcement since 9-11.
As with any officer-involved shooting, the case has to go to a grand jury for review. The Dallas Police Department says that will happen next week.
However, based on law enforcement sources and eyewitness accounts from that evening, here’s what is known about what took place in downtown Dallas the night of July 7, 2016.
7:00 p.m. – Peaceful protest begins
The night started with a protest. Shortly after 7:00 p.m. an estimated 800 demonstrators marched down Main Street after a week where two black men were killed by police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana.
Protesters chanted, “Black lives matter” along with “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Nearly 100 police officers flanked the demonstrators and while passions ran high, the march remained peaceful.
8:57 p.m. – First shots fired
By 8:57 p.m., many of the demonstrators were headed back to their vehicles when the eruption of gunshots rang out.
“It came out of nowhere,” demonstrator Corey Hughes said that night, “As a matter fact we were towards the end of the protest when the shots started firing off. I’m kind of startled and shaken up.”
Moments earlier Micah Johnson parked his black SUV on Lamar Street in front of El Centro College.
With his hazard lights flashing, Johnson stepped out and put on a body armor vest. He was armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle along with a handgun.
Johnson then moved south on Lamar Street towards Main Street where officers had gathered to block traffic for the protesters.
Johnson then opened fire.
The sound reverberated off the buildings causing confusion as to where the shots were coming from.
Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol, Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, and Officer Patrick Zamarripa were killed in the initial gunfire.
Three other Dallas police officers; Jorge Barrientos, Gretchen Rocha, and Senior Cpl. Ivan Saldana along with two civilians Billy Ray Williams and Shetamia Taylor were injured.
9:01 p.m. – A call for help
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. officers radioed for backup.
Officers physically carried their shot colleagues as they loaded them in the back of squad cars and rushed them off to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Johnson headed north on Lamar Street firing toward DART officers who were coming from the West End Station to the scene.
DART Officer Misty McBride was shot while running to take cover behind a car. DART Officer Lee Cannon and Dallas Police Sgt. Giovanni Wells were also hit. (Wells requested his picture not be published)
El Centro College officers initially keep gunman out
At this point, Johnson tried to enter El Centro College by shooting out the glass doors on Lamar Street, but El Centro College officers Brian Shaw and John Abbott were inside blocking Johnson from entering.
Both officers were wounded by gunfire but they forced Johnson to move on.
Video captures gunman killing DART officer
Johnson then headed down Lamar hiding behind concrete pillars before sneaking up on DART Officer Brent Thompson.
Video from a nearby rooftop shows Johnson firing to the left of a pillar Thompson was using as cover and then going around to the right shooting Thompson in the back.
Then standing over him, the video shows Johnson shooting the DART officer again and again.
Gunman enters El Centro College
Johnson then turned the corner and went down Elm Street.
This time he was able to enter El Centro College. Johnson went up the stairs to the second floor, through the library and down a hall.
There from a window looking down on Elm Street, he once again opened fire.
Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith who was by the 7-Eleven on Elm Street was shot and killed.
DART Officer Jesus Retana was shot in the arm.
9:15 p.m. – Standoff inside El Centro
At 9:15, Johnson made his way down a long hall in El Centro College where officers cornered him.
Thirty feet separated SWAT officers from Johnson.
For the next several hours, officers tried negotiating with the gunman.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said, “The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
Negotiations eventually broke down and more than 200 shots were exchanged.
1:28 a.m. (July 8) – Bomb kills gunman
At 1:28 a.m., Brown made an historic decision – something no police department had ever done before.
Brown ordered a bomb robot with C4 explosives to be sent down the hallway and when it was just feet from Johnson the C4 detonated.
Four-and-a-half hours after the first shots were fired Johnson was dead.
Police Chief: “We’re hurting
Shortly after at a news conference, Brown made it public his officers had taken out the gunman who had killed five police officers.
“We’re hurting,” he said. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity to our city.”
It was not for another several hours before investigators ruled Johnson was the lone gunman in the ambush.
Several streets in downtown were closed for as many as eleven days after the shooting as investigators collected evidence from the crime scene.
For the past year investigators have been going through 170 hours of body cam video and have spoken with nearly 300 witnesses.
The police department says it cannot give us a timetable on when the case will go to the grand jury.