Obama set to cut short Europe trip to visit Dallas

RSTV Bureau
Dallas  :  People join hands as they take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers are dead and several injured following a shooting during what began as a peaceful protest in the city the night before.AP/PTI

Dallas : People join hands as they take part in a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers are dead and several injured following a shooting during what began as a peaceful protest in the city the night before.AP/PTI

A day after 5 US policemen were killed in a coordinated attack in Dallas where, US President Barack Obama decided to cut short his Europe trip to visit Dallas. Obama is scheduled to visit Dallas next week.

“The President will return to Washington on Sunday night – one day earlier than planned. The President will no longer travel to Seville (in Spain),” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement on Friday.

“The President has accepted an invitation from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to travel to Dallas early next week,” Earnest added.

“Later in the week, at the White House, the President 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,” Earnest said.

Obama is currently in Warsaw, Poland to attend the NATO summit with top European leaders in the aftermath of Brexit.

Meanwhile, authorities have found out that the sniper who shot dead 5 policemen and injured 7 others, is a former Army reservist equipped for war.

The man identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, was wearing body armour and totting an SKS semi-automatic assault rifle and a handgun when began shooting at cops n downtown Dallas late on Thursday night.

Johnson was well-trained in using the weapons of war. He served as a reservist for six years until 2015 and was deployed in Afghanistan between November 2013 and July 2014, the authorities said.

The police also found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a journal detailing combat tactics during a search at Johnson’s home.

Sources say Johnson told the negotiators during the “ambush” that he “wanted to kill white people”.

The shooting happened after a “Black Lives Matter” protest that decried the police killings of 2 black men earlier this week. Johnson’s rampage turned what had been a non-violent rally into a bloodbath.

The assault ended only when Johnson was killed by a bomb strapped to a police robot.

Dallas police chief David Brown said officials negotiated with Johnson for several hours overnight and exchanged gunfire with him. But the police “saw no other option but to use our bomb robot … for it to detonate where the suspect was.”

“Through our investigation of some of the suspects, it’s revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well thought-out, evil tragedy by these suspects. And we won’t rest until we bring everyone to justice,” added Brown.

(With inputs from agencies)