Dallas gunman learned tactics at Texas self-defence school

The gunman who killed five police officers at a protest march had practiced military-style drills in his yard and trained at a private self-defence school that teaches special tactics, including "shooting on the move," a maneuver in which an attacker fires and changes position before firing again.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 10, 2016, 11:20 AM IST

Dallas: The gunman who killed five police officers at a protest march had practiced military-style drills in his yard and trained at a private self-defence school that teaches special tactics, including "shooting on the move," a maneuver in which an attacker fires and changes position before firing again.

Micah Johnson, an Army veteran, received instruction at the Academy of Combative Warrior Arts in the Dallas suburb of Richardson about two years ago, said the school's founder and chief instructor, Justin J Everman.

Everman's statement was corroborated by a police report from May 8, 2015, when someone at a business a short distance away called in a report of several suspicious people in a parked SUV.

The investigating officer closed the case just minutes after arriving at a strip mall. While there, the officer spoke to Johnson, who said he "had just gotten out of a class at a nearby self-defense school."

Johnson told the officer he was "waiting for his dad to arrive" and pick up his brother. No one else was apparently questioned.

On Friday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described Johnson as "a mobile shooter" who had written manifestos on how to "shoot and move."

Authorities have said the 25-year-old gunman kept a journal of combat tactics and had amassed a personal arsenal at his home, including bomb-making materials, rifles and ammunition.

The academy website refers to one of its courses as a "tactical applications program," or TAP.

"Reality is highly dynamic, you will be drawing your firearm, moving, shooting on the move, fixing malfunctions, etc. All under high levels of stress," the website says. "Most people never get to train these skills as they are not typically allowed on the static gun range."

The TAP training includes "shooting from different positions," ''drawing under stress" and "drawing from concealment." Everman declined to specify which classes Johnson took.

"I don't know anything about Micah. I'm sorry. He's gone. He's old to us. I have thousands of people," Everman told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The two men, however, were friendly and talked in Facebook conversations in August 2014. Everman knew Johnson had been out of the country.

Army officials said he had been deployed in Afghanistan around that time. Everman suggested that Johnson "let me know when you make it down this way."