Just when you think that nothing about the latest mass-shooting news can surprise you, word comes down from Dallas that the police responding to the active shooter situation killed the holed-up suspect with a bomb strapped to the end of a bomb disposal robot.
In this morning’s press conference, Dallas Police Chief David Brown explained the situation. After Dallas police ran toward the shooter, he began a systematic slaughter. His position was strategically advantageous. He was able to shoot down on the police, and they–despite the best efforts of police marksmen, were unable to flush him from his hidey-hole.
So they sent in hostage negotiators and crisis resolution talkers. They conversed with the suspect for several hours. When it became obvious that he wasn’t coming out, and that the police couldn’t advance on him without him picking them off, they decided to do something drastic.
The solution was this. They sent in a remote unit with a bomb. The robot held an explosive at the end of its robotic arm. When they were in close enough to the suspect to ensure maximum effectiveness, they detonated the explosive.
One cop-killer dead.
“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” said Brown. “Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”
The Dallas mayor said it best. The police had to “blast him out.”
This is a first, and something that will surely be debated. The police use robots equipped with cameras to check out situations that are unsafe for officers. They’ve even used robots to approach suicidal people. But this robot was weaponized.
While those concerned with ethics and human morality are already expressing concerns about killer robots, and the slippery slope of allowing machines to kill people, this seems much more like a pragmatic decision made by a group of police officers desperate to end what was a hellacious event.
Five officers were killed in the event. Many others were wounded. The gunman has been identified as Micah Johnson. His motive, according to reports about the conversation he had with negotiators before his explosive demise, was to kill white cops. No word yet on the race of his victims.