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Army: Grenade Found in Belongings of Dallas Shooter

  • Fern Robinson

Micah Johnson, the gunman who killed five police officers earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, during a peaceful demonstration about the recent shootings of black men by police, was found to have kept an unauthorized grenade in his barracks when stationed in Afghanistan in 2014 as an Army reservist.

Johnson's belongings were searched following a complaint from a female solider that someone had taken four pieces of her underwear from her laundry bag.

The Army released a heavily redacted account Friday of its investigation into the complaint.

The panties were found in Johnson's room. He later tried to discard them in a dumpster.

He was quickly relocated to another base.

The grenade, along with some ammunition, and medication prescribed to another soldier, were found by soldiers packing the items he left behind.

Retired Sgt. Gilbert Fischback, Johnson's squad leader before the soldier deployed, told the Associated Press the grenade should have been "a red flag," but the Army instead dropped the woman's sexual harassment complaint and her request to have Johnson psychologically evaluated.

Johnson was honorably discharged from the Army.

The Dallas Morning News newspaper recently reported that in 2011 Johnson turned to police for help when he was dismayed about an incident with a female friend. The newspaper says he walked into the Mesquite, Texas police headquarters "visibly upset and bouncing from side to side," according to a police report. The newspaper says the police described Johnson as displaying "unstable mental faculties." Johnson was upset, the police report said, because his friend had lied to him and he "did not want to get in trouble."

Johnson joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps while still in high school and enlisted in the Army Reserves after graduation. At age 22, he was deployed to Afghanistan as a carpentry and masonry specialist. But he returned home several months later in disgrace after the complaint from the female soldier. Army friends told Dallas Morning News he stopped socializing with anyone outside of his own race. Johnson is African American.

His mother said he returned a very different man; once an extrovert, he became a “hermit.”

Johnson, cornered by police after the Dallas ambush, told a police negotiator he wanted to kill white people – specifically white police officers – as retaliation for two black men who died earlier in the week at the hands of police in the U.S. states of Minnesota and Louisiana. Police killed the gunman with a robot bomb after negotiations to bring him in peacefully failed.