‘The lone gunman and Army veteran who killed five Dallas law enforcement officers Thursday night in an apparent rage over the deaths of black people at the hands of white police had been increasingly exploring black nationalism’,
said acquaintances here, even as he compiled a thick journal of combat-style techniques that authorities recovered from his home.
Washington Post reports:
Babu Omowale, a co-founder of the city’s People’s New Black Panther Party, said Micah Xavier Johnson, had attended several meetings of the black nationalist group but had never been to the group’s armed gatherings. “We had no idea what the brother’s mentality was,” said Omowale.
“He was just someone searching for knowledge about himself, like most young people searching for how they can change this world for the best,” said Akwete Tyehimba, who met Johnson in May, when he went into her shop, Pan-African Connection — a Dallas bookshop and African-arts store where like-minded activists gather.
“We had just a very brief conversation, but he was a nice young man, like most of the other young people who were there,” Tyehimba said, and one who carried himself with strength and confidence. “He fit right in.”
Now, after Johnson’s explosion of racial violence seven weeks later, Tyehimba, 53, wonders whether the older activists — “old folks like us” — could have swayed the 25-year-old from his bloody path.
“I just wish we had a chance to get to know him and guide him,” she said.
Along the way, Johnson was quietly putting together a “voluminous” journal “filled with combat-type tactics” that investigators recovered from his home, said Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County’s chief executive.
The journal shows that Johnson, who served in Afghanistan but never saw combat, extensively studied what is described as a “shoot and move” combat tactic. “It’s a concept of wanting to move from vantage point to vantage point, without being pinned down in one location, to inflict as much damage as possible,” Jenkins said.
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