Five Dallas police officers were killed and six others wounded Thursday at a protest against the recent shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, two snipers shot at 11 Dallas and DART officers from elevated positions at around 8:45pm CST.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches and garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Brown said.
A video currently circulating on social media appears to show one suspect ambushing and shooting an officer at point blank range.
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
KDFW shows disturbing footage showing one Dallas shooting suspect firing on unknown individual pic.twitter.com/jlyeaaNiKH
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) July 8, 2016
Another suspect, whose photo was posted on social media by law enforcement, turned himself and was later cleared of involvement. The man, Mark Hughes, who was legally open carrying a rifle at the event, was outraged at his treatment while in custody.
— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) July 8, 2016
A second suspect was apprehended and taken alive after a shootout with officers. The local bomb squad unit was dispatched in order to investigate a suspicious package located near the area.
“Police have reached out to the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ‘to do a very thorough search’ of the area,” reports the LA Times.
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) July 8, 2016
Reports indicate three suspects are in custody while a fourth died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The fourth suspect had told police officers that “the end is coming” and may also have made statements regarding planting bombs throughout the downtown area.
BREAKING: Suspect holed up in Dallas parking garage reportedly dies from self-inflicted gun shot wound.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 8, 2016
Video from Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Bautista captured the mayhem as it unfolded at the beginning of the shooting.
“I was walking next to the officer who was helping with the protest, all of a sudden I saw six to eight shots,” one witness told reporters. “It looked like two officers went down.”
Media also reports that Shetamia Taylor, a member of the public and mother of four, was shot in the calf while shielding her children.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for unity following the shooting and offered his thoughts and prayers to those killed and injured.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas law enforcement community and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers killed and injured this evening,” Abbott said. “In times like this we must remember — and emphasize — the importance of uniting as Americans.”
Speaking from the NATO conference in Poland, President Barack Obama called the incident a “vicious, callous and despicable attack.”
“I believe I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” the president said.
At the time of publishing, no information has been released on the shooters’ backgrounds or motives.