Crowds ran into a parking garage, witnesses said, and spilled out after word spread a sniper was nearby.
“Everyone was screaming, people were running,” said witness Clarissa Myles. “I saw at least probably 30 shots go off.”
Police initially said at least two snipers fired “ambush-style” from an “elevated position” before they exchanged gunfire and negotiated with a suspect, later identified as Johnson, for hours at a parking garage in downtown Dallas.
Before authorities killed him with an explosive, Johnson told negotiators more officers were going to get hurt, and that bombs were planted all over downtown.
Police found no explosives during sweeps of the area, Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron said.
The five slain officers were identified on Friday.
Dallas Police Officers Lorne Ahrens, a 14-year veteran of the department, and Michael Smith, a 27-year veteran, were both killed, according to local media reports and Smith’s sister, who spoke to CNN affiliate KFDM.
CNN affiliate WDIV said Dallas officer Michael Krol was killed. The last two officers were Dallas officer Patrick Zamarripa and DART Police officer Brent Thompson.
Police have said at least 10 officers were shot by a sniper and one officer was shot in a shootout at the parking garage. It’s not clear where the 12th officer was shot.
A few of the wounded officers remain hospitalized, police said. Brown called for the community to support them.
“We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days,” Brown said. “Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”
Though authorities said they’re sure Johnson was the only shooter, they don’t know if he had accomplices.
“I’m not going to be satisfied until we’ve turned over every stone,” Brown said. “We’ve got some level that this one suspect did do some of the shooting. But we’re not satisfied that we’ve exhausted every lead,” he said. “So if there’s someone out there who’s associated with this, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and we will bring you to justice.”
The Dallas police chief told reporters it’s too soon to speculate on the suspect’s motives, and it’s unclear whether more suspects are on the loose.
Other shootings of police
Three other shootings endangered police around the same time.
In Bristol, Tennessee, a man opened fire on motorists early Thursday at a motel and along the Volunteer Parkway, killing a woman and wounding three people, including a police officer, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The TBI said a preliminary investigation reveals the suspect, Lakeem Keon Scott, 37, may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country. Witnesses said they heard someone yell, “Police suck! Black Lives Matter!” before bullets were fired, the TBI said.
Scott was wounded by police, arrested and questioned at a hospital, the TBI said.
In the St. Louis area, a police officer was shot in the back of his neck Friday morning by a suspect stopped for a speeding violation, Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott said. The officer was walking back to his patrol car when the suspect ran toward him, firing three shots from a semi-automatic handgun, Scott said. The suspect was arrested and the office was in critical condition, Scott said.
In Valdosta, Georgia, a police officer was shot Friday morning by a man who placed a 911 call, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. The officer, who is now in stable condition, went to an apartment complex to check on a reported car break-in and was shot twice when he exited his patrol vehicle, the GBI said.
The officer returned fire and wounded the shooter, who was identified as the caller and arrested. The GBI said there was no connection to the Dallas shooting.
A number of police departments across the country, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, decided that officers should be paired-up for an indefinite period. Chicago police said the move was made “to increase visibility and strengthen officer safety.”
The shootings occurred as many Americans nationwide took to the streets to demand answers over the killings of two black men by police in two days.
In Minnesota, crowds gathered near the spot where an officer killed Philando Castile in a carWednesday.
Hundreds of miles away, protesters marched outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Alton Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday while police tackled him in a parking lot.
When can police shoot?
Both killings were captured on video and posted online.
In Minnesota, the shooting of Castile was remarkable — and heartbreaking — because his fiancée streamed the immediate aftermath live on Facebook.