5 Police Officers Killed In Dallas Shooting At Black Lives Matter Protest

On Thursday evening, a peaceful protest in Dallas responding to the the recent killings of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers took a dark turn when at 9 p.m. in local time, multiple snipers shot Dallas police officers, five of whom died by early Friday morning. Dallas police confirmed the snipers shot police from an elevated distance, leading to a search for the snipers that resulted in three suspects in custody Friday morning.

Update: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday morning a total of 12 police officers and two civilians were shot. The Dallas police chief said Friday the fourth suspect was killed by a bomb detonated by the police, and the suspect “said he was upset about the recent police shootings” and that “he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” though he wasn’t associated with any group. He was identified as 25-year-old Micah X. Johnson, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.

One suspect, Mark Hughes, whose brother was an organizer of the protest, was named a person of interest in the shooting, and turned himself in at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night. Another suspect “was in a shootout with SWAT officers before he was taken into custody late Thursday night around midnight,” according to CBS News. Police arrested a female suspect around the El Centro Community College parking garage, where another suspect was “neutralized” around 2:45 a.m. local time, NBC News reports. This fourth suspect ominously told Dallas Police Chief David Brown “the end is coming,” he will “hurt and kill more [police],” and “there are more bombs in the garage and downtown.”

Downtown Dallas was in lockdown following the shooting, which was the deadliest attack on police officers since 9/11.

President Obama responded to the tragedy in Dallas early Friday morning by offering praise and support to law enforcement, and also pointed out how the incident highlighted the need for better gun control:

“Yesterday, I spoke about our need to be concerned as all Americans, about racial disparities in our criminal justice system. I also said yesterday our police have an extraordinarily difficult job and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion.

We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”

 

One witness told Dallas’ CBS 11, that “whoever was shooting had an assault rifle,” and “the shots were in rapid succession.” Other witnesses report hearing as many as 40 shots, which some claim came from within a parking garage near the protest route.

The sound of gunshots and panic during the shooting was captured by one video posted to Twitter:

A Facebook user also shared a video capturing the chaotic moments of the shooting via Facebook Live:

Hundreds were present peacefully participating in the protest against police brutality, and Corey Hughes, an organizer of the protest and brother of suspect Mark Hughes, told CBS 11 there was “no indication of a threat” before the event. Hughes reported hearing 20 shots fired. Local police then arrived on the scene and began shooting back at the snipers.

Texas Governor Abbott has since released the following statement on the shooting in Dallas:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas law enforcement community and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers killed and injured this evening. I’ve spoken to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and have directed him to offer whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time. In times like this we must remember – and emphasize – the importance of uniting as Americans.”

It’s unclear what condition the six injured officers are in. The Dallas Police Association tweeted Thursday night: “Pray for Dallas tonight. Officers down.”

Note: This is a breaking, developing story. We will, as always, do our best to update with the most current details as they come through. We will, as always, do our best to confirm the veracity of those details. We will get things wrong; this post will reflect outdated info at times. Just know that we know and are updating as diligently as the limitations of breaking news allow.