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As Dallas Prepares To Bury Slain Police Officers, Shooter’s Family Speaks Out

The father of the shooting suspect told a website that he “didn’t see it coming” and that “I hate what he did.”

The Dallas police officers killed by a suspect. From the bottom left in clockwise order: Michael Smith, Brent Thompson,  Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol and Lorne Ahrens.
The Dallas police officers killed by a suspect. From the bottom left in clockwise order: Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol and Lorne Ahrens.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the man suspected of fatally shooting five police officers was killed by a remote-controlled robot on the second floor of El Centro College, not a parking garage as authorities previously described. The new details come as funeral arrangements are finalized for the slain officers and the parents of the suspect speak out.

The family of one of the officers fatally shot on July 7 is thanking the public for its support and asking people to keep all police in their prayers.

Brent Thompson, 43, was with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Authority. He was killed in an ambush during a downtown protest march.

In a statement Monday, Thompson’s family said they feel “blessed and sustained” by the messages of support they have received.

Thompson’s family says its focus remains on “honoring Brent in the days ahead and planning our next steps as a family.”

Thompson had recently married another transit officer and had six grown children from a previous marriage. He was with the transit authority for seven years.

The other officers killed were all with the Dallas Police Department: Patrick Zamarripa, 32; Michael Krol, 40; Lorne Ahrens, 48; and Michael Smith, 55.

Police originally said the officers were killed by multiple snipers. They now believe suspect Micah Johnson acted alone.

His parents say they are surprised by his violent rampage and note he returned from an Army deployment to Afghanistan a changed man.

Johnson’s father, James Johnson, said in an interview posted on TheBlaze website on Monday that he “didn’t see it coming.” Through tears, he said, “I hate what [Micah] did.”

Micah Johnson, a black 25-year-old from Mesquite, Texas, targeted police officers in Thursday’s attack. Besides the five slain officers, nine others were hurt, along with two civilians.

His mother, Delphine Johnson, says that as a child, her son wanted to join the police, but that after serving six years in the Army Reserves, he became a “hermit.”

The family says Micah Johnson never showed signs of hatred for certain groups of people, but that he hated “injustice.”

Also on Monday, Dallas Police Chief Brown defended the use of a robot carrying a bomb to kill Johnson and bring an end to a tense stand-off with the suspect. Brown said Johnson had “already killed us in a grave way, and officers were in surgery that didn’t make it.”

He added, “This wasn’t an ethical dilemma for me.”

Brown said the robot was purchased in 2008 for $151,000, and is still functional.

The chief also said two El Centro students hid in the building overnight, because they were afraid to come out until the shooting stopped. Police got them out Friday morning.

Brown also said the Arlington Police Department will assist with security when President Barack Obama visits the city this week. He said he doesn’t want his own officers shouldering that responsibility because of “the fatigue factor.”

Obama is expected to visit Dallas on Tuesday in the wake of the fatal shooting of five police officers.

Chief Brown also said authorities are downloading more than 170 hours of officers’ body camera footage and collecting “countless hours” of dashcam video as well. He added that 11 officers fired weapons at Johnson and that two used an explosive device.

Further, police are taking all threats as credible in the wake of the shooting. Brown said they have to do that for the sake of their families. He pointed to a threat he received from a private Facebook page to the Dallas Police Department’s page that is being investigated.

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