NBC 5 Staff
8th July 2016
Officers Dead in Downtown Dallas Shooting
2 Snipers Ambush, Kill 5 Officers, Injure 7 in Dallas Following Peaceful Protest
It is the the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001, NBC News reports
Five officers are dead — four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — after two snipers ambushed and opened fire on police at the end of a peaceful protest against nationwide officer-involved shootings Thursday night, officials say.
Seven officers and two civilians also were injured in the shootings.
“This is a terrible blow to the city of Dallas. This is a terrible blow to the United States of America,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said on the NBC’s “Today” show.
Rawlings said the suspect involved in an overnight standoff with police died after officers used explosives to “blast him out.”
Rawlings said he was not sure how the suspect died or what weapons were found on him. He said police have swept the area where the standoff took place and found no explosives.
Police said earlier three other suspects were in custody in connection with the shooting.
President Barack Obama, who was in Warsaw, Poland, for a NATO meeting, condemned the “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.
A protest against nationwide officer-involved shootings turns violent in Dallas’s downtown area. In the end, five police officers were killed by two men who were in sniping positions above ground, according to authorities. Another 6 officers were injured. (Published 11 minutes ago)
One of the injured civilians was identified by family as Shetamia Taylor, who was shot while shielding her children from the gunfire, her sister told NBC 5. Taylor’s condition is not known.
A male victim was also injured in the shootings, according to City of Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed. His identity and condition have not yet been released.
A bomb squad investigated at least one suspicious package in the night as part of the massive police response. Dallas Police Department’s Maj. Max Geron said Friday morning that primary and secondary sweeps found no explosives.
The deceased DART officer was identified as 43-year-old Officer Brent Thompson.
He is the first DART officer killed in the line of duty since the transit service formed a police department in 1989. He joined DART in 2009,
according to a department statement.
Identities of the deceased Dallas police officers have not been released.
Twelve officers in all — eight Dallas police and four DART —were shot by gunmen in what police believe to be a coordinated ambush attack that began at 8:58 p.m., at the close of a rally in solidarity with two men killed in officer-involved shootings, one in Louisiana, one in Minnesota.
Video from the scene showed officers taking cover and people in the rally scattering after gunshots were heard.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves to triangulate on our officers … and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at a news conference Thursday evening.
Brown said police don’t have a motivation for the attacks.
One person was taken into custody at about 11:30 p.m., Dallas police said, following an exchange of gunfire with Dallas SWAT officers. A suspicious package was located near that person, and the package was being investigated by bomb squad personnel.
Rawlings called the shooting Dallas’ “worst nightmare,” Thursday night, and asked that all residents “come together and support our police officers.”
Gov. Greg Abbott offered the state’s assistance to Dallas overnight.
It is the deadliest day for United States law enforcement agents since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks killed 72, NBC News reported.
The ATF and FBI have joined the investigation, authorities said.
Dallas police released a photo of a man whom they considered a “person of interest” in the shootings. The man, whose identity has not been released, surrendered to police for questioning and was later released.
Scores of police officers arrived downtown following the shooting, which took place along Main Street between and Market and Lamar streets, a block from the Old Red Courthouse building.
“I saw all the cops were bending over. There had to have been five or six cops, and they were all getting shot down. It was right after the rally, we were walking to the car,” said Cortney Washington, of Dallas.
“They kept shooting. It was coming — we didn’t know where it was coming from. And I didn’t see anybody else get shot. It was just the cops. I didn’t see nobody else get shot,” Washington said.
The protest was organized by Dominique R. Alexander, an ordained minister and the head of the Next Generation Action Network, according to The New York Times.
He told the Times the organization “does not condone violence against any human being, and we condemn anyone who wants to commit violence.” Brown said it was too early to say whether there was a connection between the attackers and the demonstration.
“I was right there when the shooting happened,” Alexander added. “They could have shot me.”
Another rally organizer Cory Hughes told NBC 5 the protest was peaceful and as the crowd was dispersing, they heard gunfire.
“They were shots ringing out from what felt like every direction,” Hughes said.
He said the scene turned into “mayhem; we didn’t know where to go.”
He said he knew it was a serious situation when he saw officers coming from all directions, carrying rifles and tactical gear.