Dallas shooting: Five officers killed and six wounded by snipers at protest

Three suspects have been taken into custody and a fourth has been killed by police

Justin Carissimo
New York
,Feliks Garcia,Samuel Osborne
Friday 08 July 2016 03:28 BST
Amateur video from Dallas appears to show a gunman trading fire with police

Five police officers have died and wounded seven others were injured by snipers on Thursday during protests in Dallas that called for justice after the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota this week.

One suspect exchanged gunfire with police and was arrested early on Friday morning. A suspicious package was found near the suspect and a bomb squad had begun investigating the threat.

Two others were taken into custody early Friday morning, and during a standoff with police, a fourth told officers bombs were planted all across the city.

After a lengthy standoff with police, the suspect was killed by a police bomb robot. Earlier reports suggested he had shot himself.

Earlier, he said "more will die" and claimed to have planted explosives throughout the area.

No explosives were found in two searches of the downtown area, Major Max Geron said.

Another suspect labeled as a “person of interest” willingly turned himself into police. He was on the ground when shots first rang out, according to several reporters at the scene, and was later released by police.

“We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters earlier. “We will continue a rigorous search of downtown until we are satisfied that all suspects have been captured.”

Chief Brown said that two suspects were perched atop downtown parking garages and had purposely targeted officers. "They planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” he said.

“We are reaching out to the families of these officers and bring them to the hospitals,” Chief Brown said during a press conference. He also encouraged anyone with information on the attacks to come forward.

Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa were the first victims to be named.

At least two civilians were injured during the attack.

One of them, Shetamia Taylor, was at the protest with her four sons, who are 12 through 17-years-old.

Her sister said Ms Taylor threw herself over her sons when the shooting began. She was undergoing surgery after being shot in the right calf.

The Dallas Public Transportation System (Dart), announced on Twitter that all bus and rail services had been suspended after the attacks. The Federal Aviation Administration also issued a temporary restriction on all flights over the downtown area.

Facebook has also activated its Safety Check feature to help people living in the area.

Several videos with audible gunshots surfaced on social media showing police, bystanders and reporters scrambling to take cover from the gunfire.

The demonstrations began following the police killings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota this week. Both incidents were captured on video and quickly made headlines due their graphic nature, fueling movements calling for racial equality and unbiased policing across the states.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Thursday night calling for the elimination of racial bias in policing across the country.

“To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness. It’s just being an American,” President Obama said while visiting in Poland. “And to recognize the reality that we got some tough history and we haven’t gotten through that history yet.”

The first victim, 37-year-old Alton Sterling, was pinned down to the ground by two Baton Rouge Police officers on Tuesday morning when he was shot multiple times in the chest and back. He was pronounced dead a the scene.

The second victim, 32-year-old Philando Castile, was fatally shot by an officer on Wednesday in Falcon Heights in front of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter. Diamond Reynolds live streamed the incident on Facebook while the officer still held his gun on her deceased fiancé.

Thursday night's protests were organized by the Next Generation Action Network, not Black Lives Matter as there is no local chapter in the city, Dallas Morning News reports. Still, leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement condemned the violence.

"#BlackLivesMatter advocates dignity, justice and freedom," they wrote on Twitter. "Not murder."

Richard Adams, a witness to shooting in Dallas, said the protests were “peaceful and lovely” until he heard what sounded like “a bunch of firecrackers going off.”

“Women with children and babies and everybody was chaotically running,” Adams told WFAA. "Then I was a half-a-block away, calming down a little bit when we heard it again. There must have been five times tonight — whenever we thought we were safe, people said 'Run, people were shot!'“

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