The US military veteran accused of killing five Dallas police officers last week was plotting a larger attack, authorities have said, as protests against deadly police shootings of black men continued.
More than 100 people protesting against the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police were arrested on Saturday and Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Alton Sterling – a 37-year-old black man and father of five – was killed by white officers on July 6.
His death was followed by the police killing in Minnesota of Philando Castile, a young black man who worked at a local school serving food to children.
On Thursday, five white police officers were killed during a demonstration by a suspect named as Micah Johnson, a former US soldier.
In an interview with CNN, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said that Johnson, 25, had used “shoot-and-move” tactics to shoot dead the five officers.
Brown said a search of Johnson’s home found that he had experimented with explosives, and other evidence suggested he wanted to use explosives against law enforcement officers.
“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans,” he said.
Johnson, a veteran who had served in Afghanistan, took advantage of a spontaneous protest in Dallas over the two killings by police to launch his attack, Brown said.
Moving in front of the rally in a black Tahoe 4WD, the attacker stopped when he saw a chance to use “high ground” to target police, he added.
Before Johnson was killed by a bomb-equipped robot, he had sung, laughed and taunted officers, and said he wanted to “kill white people” in retribution for police killings of African-Americans, Brown said.
“He seemed very much in control and very determined to hurt other officers,” the police chief said.