Five Police Officers were shot dead and six injured when snipers opened fire targeting them during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, United States.
“Black Lives Matter,” were marching in the wake of the two shootings of two black men in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge in recent days by police officers.
The protest was drawing to an end when shots rang out near the area of Market and Main streets in downtown Dallas just before 9pm on Thursday, local time.
Dallas Police chief David Brown said it appeared four suspects had worked together to fire from elevated positions during the protest, shooting 11 Dallas police officers. Five of those officers were killed, at least two others are in a critical condition.
Associated Press reports a civilian, 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor, was wounded in the right calf shielding her four sons as gunfire rang out.
He said the snipers fired upon the officers “ambush-style”, with some shot in the back in a bid to kill as many as possible.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers … and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” he said.
Several hours after the shooting, three suspects were in custody while one remained in negotiations with police from the garage of El Centro College in Main Street, after shooting at them for 45 minutes.
Two of the suspects were arrested after they were seen to throw a camouflaged bag into the back of a black Mercedes before speeding from the scene of the shooting. Another suspect, a woman, was arrested near to El Centro College.
The suspect told negotiating police that “the end is coming” and he was going to “hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcements”, Brown said. The suspect also said there were bombs “all over the place” across downtown Dallas.
“We are being very careful in our tactics… as we negotiate further,” Brown said in a press conference at 12.40am on Friday, local time.
“We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects… we’re likely to be working throughout the early morning hours of Friday until we’re satisfied that all suspects have been captured.”
Earlier, the Dallas Police Department released an image of a “person of interest” who was wanted over the shooting, pictured wearing a camouflage t-shirt. However, it is not believed this man was involved in the shooting.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) said one of its police officers was among the dead, and three other of its officers who were shot had injuries that were not life-threatening.
The protest was being held following the deaths of two men – Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Minnesota – in separate police shootings this week. The men, who were both black, were killed by police officers, and their deaths were captured on mobile phone cameras.