DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — It has been five years — to the day — since the 2016 ambush on police officers in downtown Dallas.
It was on that evening when four officers with the Dallas Police Department and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer were killed. Nine other police officers, and two civilians, were also injured during the attack.READ MORE: Texas Experiencing Another COVID-19 Surge
In all, eleven officers, along with the gunman, fired weapons on what turned out to be the deadliest incident for law enforcement in the U.S. since September 11th.
Here’s what is known about what took place on that fateful night.
7:00 p.m. – Peaceful protest begins
The night started with a peaceful 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, marchers were not violent.
8:57 p.m. – First shots fired
By 8:57 p.m., many of the demonstrators were headed back to their vehicles when an 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 had parked his black SUV on Lamar Street, in front of El Centro College. With his hazard lights flashing, Johnson stepped out and put on body armor. He was armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle along with a handgun.
Johnson moved south on Lamar Street towards Main Street, where officers had gathered to block traffic for protesters. It was there that he opened fire.
The sound reverberated off 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 round of gunfire.
Three other Dallas police officers; Jorge Barrientos, Gretchen Rocha, and Senior Cpl. Ivan Saldana — along with 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 injured colleagues, loaded them into squad cars, and rushed them to nearby hospitals.
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. Her colleagues, 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 campus officers Brian Shaw and John Abbott were inside blocking the armed man from entering.
Both officers were wounded by gunfire but they survived and forced Johnson to move on.READ MORE: Administrative Court Judge Orders Mask-Wearing To Enter Dallas County Courthouses
Video captures gunman killing DART officer
Johnson then headed down Lamar Street, 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 that Thompson was using as cover and then going around and shooting Thompson in the back.
Video shows Johnson standing over Thompson and shooting the DART officer again and again.
Gunman enters El Centro College
Johnson then turned the corner and went down Elm Street.
It was there that he was able to enter El Centro College. He went upstairs 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.
From that location 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 p.m., Johnson made his way down a hall in El Centro College where officers cornered him. Only 30 feet separated SWAT officers from the shooter.
For the next several hours, officers tried negotiating with the Johnson.
Then 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 — and ordered a bomb robot, with C4 explosives, to be sent down the hallway. When it was just feet from Johnson the explosives were 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 that his officers had taken out the gunman who killed the five lawmen.
“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 would be several hours before investigators definitely determined that Johnson was the lone gunman in the ambush.MORE NEWS: Summer Break Ends Early For Some Dallas ISD Schools
Several streets in downtown were closed for as many as 11 days after the shooting as investigators collected evidence and closed the case.