Before Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers in Dallas this month, he was discharged from the Army after investigators found panties stolen from a female soldier in his barracks room, along with prescription medicine belonging to another soldier and a grenade hidden in his sleeping bag.
The U.S. Army released documents late Friday night from its investigation of Johnson two years ago, after he was accused of sexual harassment while serving in Afghanistan.
The documents detail earlier signs of disturbing behavior by Johnson. But the heavily redacted report omits some details of the case and the names of all involved, except for Johnson. It does not explain why Johnson received an honorable discharge from the reserves, given the investigator’s findings.
Johnson opened fire on police July 7 at a Dallas protest march. Before he was killed by police, Johnson told negotiators that he was angered by police shootings of African Americans and that “he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
According to the newly released Army investigation, a female soldier in Johnson’s squad reported she was missing four pairs of underwear from her laundry bag while Johnson was serving at a U.S. Army forwarding base in Eastern Afghanistan in May 2014. One soldier told investigators Johnson had been “messing” with drawers in a vehicle transporting the laundry. When other soldiers in Johnson’s squad searched his room, they said they found the missing panties under his bed and that Johnson grabbed them, fled and threw them in a dumpster.
Johnson later told investigators that he grabbed the panties out of embarrassment. He also said that an unrelated civilian woman he was friends with had given them to him.
But in the 2014 report, the female soldier in Johnson’s squad identified the panties as hers. The unidentified female solder told investigators she had been friends with Johnson for five years — ever since she joined the unit — but that she stopped any conversation that veered toward anything crude or sexual. She said she had ended that friendship a month earlier and stopped talking to Johnson.
Johnson also told investigators the relationship was platonic, even though the two spent a lot of time together, and the female soldier had stayed the night with him at his mother’s house on drill weekends.
Johnson’s parents have said that he returned after his military discharge a drastically different person, withdrawn and “almost a hermit.”
In their only extended public statements since the shootings — an interview with the Blaze, a conservative website — they said that Johnson returned home “on the verge of being discharged from military dishonorably,” but said that the charges against him “didn’t stick.”
In the interview, his mother, Delphene Johnson, said that the female soldier who accused Johnson of harassment “has been to my house numerous of times. She’s bought me gifts — birthday, Christmas gifts. She not only been here, but she stayed here, at least once a month for almost two years. … Yeah, they slept in the same bed.”
The mother said that the female soldier had engaged in another inappropriate relationship with a higher ranking soldier and accused her son of harassment after her son tried to confront her about it.
According to the 2014 report, after the Army moved Johnson to another base, soldiers cleaning up his room found an unauthorized grenade and prescription medicine that belonged to another soldier in his sleeping bag.
Fellow soldiers in the report also described Johnson as a loner on the squad, who often ate his lunch alone while the rest of his team ate together.
Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed to this report.