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Dallas shooting: Bomb material, weapons found at gunman’s home


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Washington, July 9 (IANS) The Dallas Police Department has discovered bomb making materials, rifles, ballistic vests, ammunition and a combat journal at the home of the key suspect in the Dallas shootings, in which five police officers were killed and seven wounded during a demonstration on Thursday.

The suspect, Micah Johnson, 25, died after a long stand-off with police in central Dallas. Mayor Mike Rawlings said officials believed he was "the lone shooter". "We believe now the city is safe," BBC quoted Rawlings as saying.

A search of his home produced “bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics," Dallas Police Department said in a statement. The officers are analysing the content.

Johnson who gunned down police officers, had specially set out to kill as many white officers as he could, the New York Times reported.

As per official records, Johnson was a retired soldier who had served in Afghanistan and kept an arsenal in his home that included military equipment and bomb making materials.

According to a New York Times report, police officials found no evidence that Johnson had direct ties to any protest or political group, either peaceful or violent, but his Facebook page showed that he supported the New Black Panther Party, a group that advocated violence against whites and Jews.

The shooting by Johnson on Thursday was a retaliation against police abuse which killed two African-Americans, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

Sterling, 37, was fatally shot on July 5 by two Baton Rouge police officers after being tackled to the ground. In a similar incident, Castile, 32, was also shot dead on July 6 by the police in Minnesota’s Falcon Heights.

The shootings spurred massive protests and debate in Dallas over the use of police force in the country. The peaceful protest turned into an ambush when protesters heard random gunshots fired.

The US Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump expressed grief over the Dallas shootings.

US President Barack Obama is to cut short his trip to Europe by a day and visit Dallas early next week, the White House said on Friday.

Later in the week, Obama "will continue the work to bring people together to support our police officers and communities, and find common ground by discussing policy ideas for addressing the persistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system", the White House said.

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