Micah Johnson, the gunman who killed five police officers in the July 7 shooting in Dallas, turned into a “hermit” after he was discharged from the United States Army in 2015, according to his parents.

The shooter’s mother, father and stepmother opened up for the first time since the ambush in an emotional new interview with The Blaze on Sunday, July 10. The family sat down at Micah’s mom Delphine Johnson’s home in Mesquite, Texas, where officials reportedly found rifles, ammunition, explosive materials and a journal filled with combat strategies.

According to Delphine, Micah always dreamed of becoming a police officer growing up, but later became “gung-ho” about joining the military.

“He loved his country,” she said on Sunday. “He wanted to protect his country.”

Micah served as a reservist in the U.S. Army for approximately six years, including a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. However, his behavior noticeably changed after he was discharged in 2015, his parents say.

“The military was not what Micah thought it would be,” Delphine explained. “He was very disappointed, very disappointed. But it may be that the ideal that he thought of our government, of what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectation.”

After being discharged, Micah began researching black history and his heritage, according to his father, James Johnson. Although he reportedly “liked” the New Black Panther Party and the African American Defense League on Facebook, his family says he never showed signs of hatred toward other races. In fact, his stepmother, Donna, is white.

As previously reported, Micah opened fire with a sniper on police officers during a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, killing five and injuring seven others. During negotiations with police, the lone gunman revealed that his motive was to target “white people” in the wake of two back-to-back police shootings of black citizens in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier in the week. Dallas police later killed Micah by detonating a bomb via a robot.

“I don’t know what to say to anybody to make anything better,” James said before breaking down in tears on Sunday. “I didn’t see it coming. I love my son with all my heart. I hate what he did.”

The Johnson family’s full interview with The Blaze is set to air later this week.

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