DALLAS -- FOX6 News on Friday, July 8th spoke with a St. Francis man who served in basic training with 25-year-old Micah Johnson -- the man authorities said was the sniper responsible for taking the lives of five police officers in Dallas.
The shooting in Dallas happened Thursday, July 7th during a protest over back-to-back fatal shootings of African-American men in Louisiana (Alton Sterling) and Minnesota (Philando Castile).
Will Krenn said he and Johnson both arrived at basic training seven years ago. He trained side-by-side with Johnson, and they stayed in touch over the years. They were even friends on Facebook.
Krenn told FOX6 News he never imagined the man he knew would be responsible for the deaths of five police officers.
"This was our platoon T-shirt. There's Johnson M for Micah," Krenn said.
Krenn described the moment he learned 25-year-old Micah Johnson was allegedly the sniper who killed five officers and injured seven during a protest Thursday in Dallas.
"I had to pull my car over. I got the goosebumps. I couldn`t help but shake for 15 minutes," Krenn said.
Krenn said the news stunned him.
"I had an inkling to think that was him, then I thought there was no way Johnson would do something like this," Krenn said.
Krenn described for FOX6 News the Micah Johnson he knew:
"Micah would always find something to make light of the situation and make us laugh. He was accepted by everyone. Sometimes in basic there can be cliques. Micah wasn't into that. He was a friend of everyone. It didn't matter your skin color or who you were. Micah was a good guy. Micah was a goofball. A lot of times, basic can be hectic and stressful. He would make light of the situation, take the edge off and make us laugh," Krenn said.
They stayed in touch through Facebook, and Krenn said Johnson didn't seem the type of person who would target anyone.
"He was a friend of everyone. It didn`t matter your skin color or who you were. Micah was a good guy," Krenn said.
But Micah Johnson seemingly had a darker side.
During a search of his home, detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics.
"It was unreal," Krenn said.
Johnson had no criminal record and no known terror ties, a law enforcement official said.
Police said in an exchange with officers before his death, Johnson said he was acting alone and had no ties to terror groups.
The gunman also said "he wanted to kill officers, and he expressed killing white people, he expressed killing white officers" and "expressed anger for Black Lives Matter."
Johnson was killed by a bomb-carrying police robot after failed negotiations in Dallas.