Chaos erupted on the streets of Dallas Thursday night as a Black Lives Matter protest ended with sniper fire, killing at least five police officers and critically wounding at least six others.
The shooting happened at the end of a “Black Lives Matter” protest. Although it has not been confirmed, most involved believe the terrorists to be directly involved with the “Black Lives Matter” movement targeting police officers.
Dallas police said two snipers opened fire from an elevated position in a building, targeting police officers “ambush-style” and striking some in the back. One suspect later claimed to have planted bombs all over the downtown area.
The protest had been peaceful before the shooting erupted, according to witnesses. After the multiple shots rang out from a position above the crowd, hundreds of people began running for their lives, as officers took cover and returned fire to protect the crowd.|
Dallas police said the suspects had also made threats about planting a bomb in the area and FBI and ATF agents were called in to help search for a possible explosive device.
Police said they had a suspect cornered on the upper floor of a 10-story parking garage in downtown Dallas near the campus of El Centro College and they were negotiating with the person. Chief David Brown said after midnight local time the suspect was still holed up in the garage and exchanging gunfire with officers, several hours after the initial incident.
“The suspect that we are negotiating with that has exchanged gunfire with us in the last 45 minutes had told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us – meaning law enforcement,” Brown said at a 12:30 a.m. press conference. “And there are bombs all over this place in this garage and in downtown. So we are being very careful in our tactics.”
He said officers also took a woman into custody who was in the same area of the garage where the suspect was, but he did not elaborate on her possible role in the shootings.
In addition, officers followed two suspects who were seen putting a camouflage bag into a Mercedes and fleeing the scene. The suspects were pulled over in the area and detained and officers were interviewing them.
Earlier, police released a picture of the “person of interest” who was photographed at the rally wearing camouflage and carrying a rifle during the protest. The man was found,and later released from custody, determined not to be a suspect.
According to statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, this was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since Sept. 11th.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers, do two different perches in garages in the downtown area,” Chief Brown said. “And they planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could.”
One civilian was also wounded.