DALLAS — Police chief David Brown has no second thoughts about using a robot with an explosive device to kill a sniper who ambushed officers after a peaceful Black Lives Matter march Thursday night.
Brown said Monday he would use the $151,000 Remotec Andros Mark V-A1 robot again.
“This wasn’t an ethical dilemma at all for me,” Brown said at a Monday news conference as he updated the investigation of the ambush that killed five police officers Thursday night.
“I’ll use any tool at my disposal to save an officer’s life,” said Brown.
He said he and his officers are fatigued enough that Arlington police will work with the Secret Service for President Obama’s visit to Dallas on Tuesday. Brown said Arlington police volunteered for the job. Arlington police declined to comment.
The sniper, Micah X. Johnson, was killed early Friday after hours of negotiations failed.
Killed in the shootings were Dallas police officers Lorne Ahrens, a 14-year veteran of the department; Michael Smith, a 27-year veteran; Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarripa. DART Police officer Brent Thompson also died in the shooting.
The police chief adjusted the figures to note that nine officers were wounded: four Dallas police officers, three DART officers and two El Centro College officers.
Brown said that 11 officers opened fire on the suspect and that two officers operated the robot with the explosive device.
Detectives on Monday are continuing to review more than 170 hours of video from body cameras worn by officers at the scene on the night of the shooting. Authorities also will review videos from police car dash cameras and business store surveillance cameras in downtown Dallas.
In addition, detectives have gone over 300 statements from witnesses and officers, and some officers have yet to give statements, Brown said Monday.
The Dallas police chief said that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are still trying to determine the meaning of the initials “RB” which were left in blood by Johnson at El Centro College in downtown Dallas.
Bomb-making materials were found in Johnson’s home in Mesquite, Brown said.
“He knew what he was doing,” the police chief said. “He wasn’t some novice.”
Interview: Shooter’s parents speak with The Blaze
In an exclusive interview with The Blaze, Johnson’s parents said his behavior changed after he was discharged from the Army in 2015. Johnson was in the military for about six years, including seven months in Afghanistan.
Delphine Johnson, the shooter’s mother, said that when her son was growing up he wanted to be a police officer and later was excited about being in the military.
“He loved his country,” she told The Blaze. “He wanted to protect his country.”
But later, she said, “The military was not what Micah thought it would be. He was very disappointed, very disappointed. But it may be that the ideal that he thought of our government, what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectations.”
James Johnson, 55, the gunman’s father, said his son began studying black history after he was discharged. The Blaze reported that his Facebook page, now deleted, had photos of a “black power” fist and a Pan-African flag. He also liked on Facebook The New Black Panther Party and the African American Defense League.
The family members said that while Johnson never showed signs of hatred for white people, he became angry after the police-involved shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.
James Johnson wept as he tried to understand his son’s actions Thursday in Dallas.
“I don’t know what to say to anybody to make anything better. I didn’t see it coming,” Johnson told The Blaze. “I love my son with all my heart. I hate what he did.”
Investigation ‘far from over’
The shooting investigation will continue, Brown said.
“We’re going to turn over every rock and follow every lead until it’s exhausted,” he said.
Brown and his family received death threats almost immediately after the shooting.
“We’re all on edge and we’re being very careful,” he said.
The police chief praised his officers.
“This is the best department in this country,” Brown said. “This shooting will not discourage us.”
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