Zacheaus Somorin with agency reports
Shooters killed five officers during protests against police in downtown Dallas, marking the deadliest single attack on law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Gunshots rang out Thursday night during demonstrations against the fatal shootings of two African-American men by police inLouisiana and Minnesota.
A total of 11 officers were shot, Dallas police said. A standoff is underway as authorities try to negotiate with a suspect in a downtown garage. It was the deadliest single attack on law enforcement since the 2001 terror attacks, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
A total of 10 police officers were shot by snipers during the protests, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said. An 11th officer was shot during an exchange of gunfire with one of the suspects, authorities said. Brown said it’s unclear how many suspects were involved, but three people are in custody.
Dallas police have been negotiating and exchanging gunfire with a suspect at a parking garage in downtown for hours.’The suspect has told our negotiators that the end is coming,” Brown said.
The suspect told negotiators more officers are going to be hurt, and added that there are bombs planted all over downtown Dallas. Two of the shooters were snipers, who shot from an “elevated position” and fired on officers “ambush-style,” he said.
Officers killed included one DART officer and two Dallas police officers. DART, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency, operates buses and commuter rail in the city and surrounding suburbs. The Dallas Police Department circulated a photo of a man they said was a suspect in the shooting, but later called him a person of interest and said he turned himself in.
Witness Ismael Dejesus said he filmed the shooter from his hotel balcony about 50 yards away. He described the gunman as wearing tactical pants and a tactical shirt. He had a weapon with a “pretty big magazine,” he said. “He got out of there, walked over to the pillar, put a magazine in and started firing,” he said. “It did look planned. He knew where to stand, he had ammo ready.”
Retired FBI special agent Steve Moore said the attack may have been planned in advance.
“This was an attack planned long before– waiting for an opportunity to go,” Moore said. “I think there was so much logistically, ammunition-wise. They may not have planned the location, they may not have planned the vantage point. But they had prepared for an attack before last night’s shooting is my guess.” President Barack Obama has been notified on the shooting, and a team is keeping him updated on the situation, the White House said.