Dallas police officers targeted by sniper during protest

Tom Hinde

A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest march in downtown Dallas erupted into chaos around 9:00 p.m. Thursday night. Four Dallas Police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer were killed by a lone gunman. Initial reports by officials had claimed "snipers" perched atop "elevated positions," had targeted law enforcement.

A gunman engaged law enforcement during a violent three-hour standoff, police said. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the man in the standoff had died, but gave no other immediate details. The law enforcement casualty count, the highest since the 9/11 attack, is 12 officers shot with five killed. Two other people were wounded by gunfire.

Three other suspects are in custody, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said. "The suspect that we are [were] in negotiation with that has [had] exchanged gunfire with us over the last 45 minutes has told our negotiators that "The end is coming' and he is going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement, and that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown," Brown said.

Brown had said he believed the four suspects were "working together with rifles triangulated at elevated positions at different points in the downtown area, where the march ended up going.

The mayor Rawlings said it was "a heartbreaking morning" and called for unity. "We as a city, we as a country, must come together and lock arms and heal the wounds we all feel," he said. The shooting came on a night when protests were held nationwide over the fatal police-involved shootings of two black men earlier in the week.