The Latest: Dallas shooter a loner, collected guns, knives

AP News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2016 6:08 PM
The Latest: Dallas shooter a loner, collected guns, knives

DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota and the subsequent killing of five police officers in Dallas (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

The father of the Dallas shooter says that his son became a loner after serving in the Army Reserves for six years.

James Johnson says in an interview aired Wednesday on TheBlaze website that 25-year-old Micah Johnson "just preferred not to talk to" people after he came back from being deployed to Afghanistan.

Johnson's stepmother, Donna Johnson, said he had a gun and a knife collection.

Johnson shot and killed five officers, and injured nine officers and two civilians during Thursday's protest of recent fatal shootings of black men by police.

Authorities said they found bomb-making materials where Johnson lived, something Donna Johnson balked at, saying, "Everyone has bomb-making materials in their homes."

Authorities, who killed Micah Johnson with a bomb delivered by a robot, said Johnson had plans for a larger assault, possessed enough explosive material to inflict far greater harm and kept a journal of combat tactics.

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4:35 p.m.

The family of the Dallas shooter says that he was angry about the racially charged atmosphere in the United States, including shootings of black men by police.

Delphine Johnson says in an interview aired Wednesday on TheBlaze website that her son, 25-year-old Micah Johnson, was "angry that in 2016 we were still being treated like 1816, just more undercover."

Johnson shot and killed five officers, and injured nine officers and two civilians during Thursday's protest. Authorities say he told them during negotiations that he was targeting white officers.

Delphine Johnson also said that he was not a member of the Nation of Islam or the Black Panthers, but that he was outraged at what had happened to African-Americans in the past and now.

Delphine Johnson and Micah Johnson's stepmom, Donna Johnson, who is white, both said that he did not hate white people.

The family also said he was excited to join the U.S. Army, but once he returned home from serving in Afghanistan, he had become a loner.

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4:20 p.m.

The mother of the Dallas shooter says she believes he did what he thought "was right to correct the injustice in this world today," though she doesn't condone it.

Delphine Johnson says in an interview aired Wednesday on TheBlaze website that her son, 25-year-old Micah Johnson, told her that he was going to go to a protest Thursday because of "all of the shootings" and he told her he would stay out of trouble.

She said police came to her house about 2:30 a.m. Friday and did not tell her what was going on, but asked her to come with them for questioning. She said that they asked whether her son "hates cops" or whether he "ever talked about killing cops."

She didn't find out that he was dead for a few hours.

Johnson shot and killed five officers, and injured nine officers and two civilians during a downtown Dallas protest.

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4 p.m.

A group of local organizations are suing the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police over their treatment of demonstrators protesting the shooting death of a 37-year-old black man.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana announced the lawsuit Wednesday.

The groups allege that authorities used excessive force, carried out mass arrests and verbally and physically abused protesters.

The lawsuit describes the protests as peaceful and blames law enforcement for escalating the situation.

The shooting death last week of Alton Sterling at the hands of two white police officers sparked outrage among many in the black community.

The police have come under fire for tactics they used on protesters over the weekend. Over a three-day period, police arrested about 200 people.

The governor has defended the police, calling their response "moderate."

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3 p.m.

State troopers have arrested 41 people after demonstrators blocked rush-hour traffic on an interstate in downtown Minneapolis.

Authorities also impounded four vehicles used by the protesters to block traffic on southbound Interstate 35W near University Avenue on Wednesday morning.

The demonstrators walked onto a bridge across the Mississippi River and chanted "I believe that we will win." Troopers arrested protesters on the freeway after about an hour. The interstate reopened shortly after 9:15 a.m.

The demonstrators were protesting recent deaths by police. Philando Castile was fatally shot by a St. Anthony officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last week.

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2 p.m.

A letter from a Minnesota sheriff's department confirms a black driver who was killed by an officer last week had received his permit to carry a gun last year.

The letter to Philando Castile is dated June 4, 2015. It says his permit to carry is enclosed. His family has also confirmed he received the permit in June 2015.

The letter from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says Castile must have the permit card and a form of photo identification while carrying a pistol, and must display the permit and ID when commanded by police.

Castile was killed last week during a traffic stop. His girlfriend was in the car and has said that Castile was shot after he told an officer he was armed and had a permit to carry, and was reaching for his ID.

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1:15 p.m.

Data analyzed by The Associated Press shows that a suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, police department whose officer killed a black driver last week has been disproportionately arresting African-Americans.

The AP and other media requested arrest data from the St. Anthony Police Department after the death of Philando Castile. He was shot after being pulled over in nearby Falcon Heights in a killing that has fueled protests nationwide.

Just 7 percent of residents in St. Anthony and the neighboring towns its Police Department serves are black. But nearly half of those arrested in the first half of 2016 were black.

The data does not list details about individual arrests.

A 2001 study of 65 other Minnesota jurisdictions found officers stopped and searched minority drivers at greater rates than whites.

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1:05 p.m.

A memorial to police in Richmond, Virginia has been vandalized with a message referring to the police killing of a black man in Louisiana.

A large red "X'' was spray-painted on the torso of the statue of an officer carrying a child and "Justice for Alton" was written on the stones below, an apparent reference to 37-year-old Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Richmond Police Deputy Chief Steve Drew told the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/29DOvJE) that people have left bouquets of flowers at the statue in Byrd Park in the memory of the five officers killed last week by a black sniper in Dallas.

The chief says the statue is expected to be restored within 24 hours.

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12:10 p.m.

The colleagues of Dallas police Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens have told law enforcement officers from as far away as Canada that Ahrens was a "supersized can of kickass" who was a voracious reader with an intelligence that was equal to his size.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Dallas suburb of Plano to mourn the 6-foot-5, 300-lb. Ahrens, one of the five officers slain last week by a sniper during a protest march. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack.

The 48-year-old Ahrens worked with the Los Angeles County sheriff's department and was a semipro football player before moving to Texas and joining the Dallas police force.

He often volunteered, in uniform, at the school his 8-year-old and 10-year-old attended.

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10:55 a.m.

A few hundred mourners have gathered for a private Catholic funeral service for Dallas police Sgt. Michael Smith, a former U.S. Army Ranger known for his upbeat attitude and compassionate approach to others.

Smith, his wife and their two daughters were members of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch, north of Dallas, where his service was held Wednesday. A public service was scheduled Thursday for Smith at a Dallas church where he worked security.

Smith was an Army Ranger before joining the Dallas police force in 1989. He once received a "Cops' Cop" award from the Dallas Police Association.

Smith and four other officers were fatally shot last week during a protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack.

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10:30 a.m.

A memorial service has begun at a Dallas church for Brent Thompson, one of the five officers killed last week by a gunman at a downtown protest march.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers in crisp formal uniforms gathered Wednesday at The Potter's House, a Dallas megachurch headed by celebrity Bishop T.D. Jakes.

The service featured a montage of photos of the 43-year-old Thompson with family, friends and fellow officers with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

A funeral service for Thompson, a newlywed, was scheduled for later Wednesday in Corsicana, south of Dallas.

Thompson and four Dallas officers were fatally shot during a protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack.

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9 a.m.

Law enforcement officers have arrested demonstrators who were blocking rush hour traffic on an interstate in downtown Minneapolis.

About three dozen protesters blocked southbound Interstate 35W near University Avenue Wednesday morning before state troopers moved in, arrested them and put them on a bus.

They are protesting police brutality, including the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a suburban St. Paul officer during a traffic stop last week.

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8:45 a.m.

Demonstrators are blocking rush hour traffic on an interstate in downtown Minneapolis.

More than a dozen protesters are blocking five lanes on southbound Interstate 35W near University Avenue Wednesday.

The demonstrators walked onto a bridge across the Mississippi River and chanted "I believe that we will win."

They are protesting police brutality, including the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a suburban St. Paul officer during a traffic stop last week.

Authorities are telling the demonstrators to leave the interstate.

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5:55 a.m.

Funerals are set to begin for the five officers slain by a sniper during a protest last week in downtown Dallas.

Funerals will be held Wednesday for Dallas Police Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith and Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson.

Ahrens' funeral will take place in Plano.

A private funeral for Smith is planned Wednesday at the Farmers Branch church he and his family attended, and a public service will take place Thursday at the Dallas church where he worked security.

After a Dallas memorial service, Thompson's funeral will be at a church in Corsicana, the town south of Dallas where he lived.

Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol's funeral is set for Friday, and Dallas police Officer Patrick Zamarripa's funeral will be held Saturday.