Texas – UPDATE: 5 Officers Dead, 6 Hurt In Dallas Protest Sniper Shooting

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    Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)Texas – Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas, killing five officers and injuring six others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men, police said, in a week that bore dark echoes of the tumultuous civil rights era.

    Three people are in custody and a fourth suspect was exchanging gunfire with authorities in a parking garage downtown, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said early Friday morning.

    The suspect is not cooperating and has told negotiators he intends to hurt more law enforcement officials, the chief said.

    The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Brown told reporters the snipers fired “ambush style” upon the officers. Mayor Mike Rawlings said one member of the public was wounded in the gunfire.

    Protests were held in several other cities across the country Thursday night after a Minnesota officer on Wednesday fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child. The aftermath of the shooting was livestreamed in a widely shared Facebook video. A day earlier, Alton Sterling was shot in Louisiana after being pinned to the pavement by two white officers. That, too, was captured on a cellphone video.

    Video footage from the Dallas scene showed protesters were marching along a street in downtown, about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

    Brown said that it appeared the shooters “planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could.”

    The attacks made Thursday the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks on-duty officer deaths.

    The search for the shooters stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The area is only a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Some of the injured officers were taken to Parkland Hospital.

    The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

    “Everyone just started running,” Devante Odom, 21, told The Dallas Morning News. “We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there.”

    Carlos Harris, who lives downtown, told the newspaper that the shooters “were strategic. It was tap, tap pause. Tap, tap pause,” he said.
    A Dallas police officer covers his face as he stands with others outside the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Brown said police don’t have a motivation for the attacks or any information on the suspects. He said they “triangulated” in the downtown area where the protesters were marching and had “some knowledge of the route” they would take.

    Video posted on social media appeared to show a gunman at ground level exchanging fire with a police officer who was then felled.

    Authorities have not determined whether any protesters were involved with or were complicit in the attack and were not certain early Friday that all suspects have been located, Brown said.

    One woman was taken into custody in the same parking garage where the standoff was ongoing, Brown said. Two others were taken into custody during a traffic stop.

    Rawlings said at the news conference that authorities will likely ask some people to stay away from downtown Dallas on Friday.

    “This is still an active crime scene. We’re determining how big that crime scene is,” the mayor said.

    A map will be posted online showing an area where people should avoid on Friday, he said.

    Early Friday morning, there were dozens of officers of the corridor of the ER at Baylor Medical Center, where other injured officers were taken. The mayor and police chief were seen arriving there.

    Four of the officers who were killed were with the Dallas Police Department, a spokesman said. One was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. The agency said in a statement that 43-year-old officer Brent Thompson was the first officer killed in the line of duty since the agency formed a police department in 1989.

    “Our hearts are broken,” the statement said.

    Theresa Williams told The Associated Press that the injured civilian was her sister, 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor.

    Williams said her sister was at the protests Thursday night with her four sons, ages 12 to 17.

    When the shooting began, Taylor threw herself over her sons, Williams said. She was undergoing surgery early Friday after being shot in the right calf.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director 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,” Abbott said.
    A man raises his hands as he walks near a law enforcement officer, following the shootings Thursday of several police officers in downtown Dallas, early Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    Other protests across the U.S. on Thursday were peaceful. In midtown Manhattan, protesters first gathered in Union Square Park where they chanted “The people united, never be divided!” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!” In Minnesota, where Castile was shot, hundreds of protesters marched in the rain from a vigil to the governor’s official residence. Protesters also marched in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia.

    President Barack Obama said America is “horrified” over the shootings and there’s no possible justification for the attacks.

    Speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where he’s meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit, the president said justice will be done and he’s asking all Americans to pray for the fallen officers and their families. He also said the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.

    People on Dallas’ tense, police-filled streets early Friday struggled to fathom the situation.

    “I think the biggest thing that we’ve had something like this is when JFK died. It’s like, shut the city down, downtown like this, it’s surreal to me,” said city native Jalisa Jackson, who said she was scared. “I mean we’re all out, everyone’s trying to get answers, find people, find loved ones and we kind of don’t, we kind of, like, don’t even know what’s going on.”
    Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

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    9 COMMENTS

      • Oh really? How about the police tactic and brutal behavior is to blame for it? Makes sense? I think it does. Police aggressiveness and cocky attitude towards helpless citizens are just out of control.

        • Let’s see you being an officer and facing daily what officer face daily to see how you will succeed with criminals on a daily basis.. Had it been a white officer shooting a black officer you’d say it’s a racial thing now it’s police plurality, in other words there’s a name for everything and the criminals can shoot officers and that’s obviously ok. You don’t say anything about that neither does Hussein Obama..

          • Your hate to obama is obvious and that’s fine. However, that does not justify how police are treating helpless civilians. Somehow they think they are superior to us and not bonded by any law. They are bastards and animals. If you think by defending them or by praising them you will be spared from brutality and treated fairly, you are mistaking my friend.

            Crime in the UK is at a lower level then it is in the USA albeit the responding officers don’t carry lethal weapons on them. They are kind and respectful and always try to deflate tension as oppose to responding officers here who immediately escalate every situation.

        • What a typical dumb liberal you are. Blacks committing crimes are the reason sometime cops are forced to kill them, and sometimes make tragic, UNINTENTIONAL mistakes! No cop goes out there intentionally targeting blacks, and the fact that u suggest that shows how intellectually and morally challenged you are. No doubt you’ll be voting for Hilary so this era of unprecedented problems in race relations which Obama created can continue,

          • “Blacks committing crimes are the reason sometime cops are forced to kill them”

            Really? Cops are now judge jury and executioner? I thought this was America where everyone gets a trial.

            • How can you answer for all the black people who have been killed by cops without ever having committed a crime in their lives?

    1. Reply to #4:
      Silence? Obama vociferously condemned the attack, saying it was vicious and despicable, and that police were doing their jobs, keeping people safe. He said all Americans are horrified.

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