What We Know About the Dallas Police Officer Shootings So Far
Dallas police officers were ambushed by snipers on Thursday night after a peaceful protest by Black Lives Matter prompted by the police killings of black men in the past 48 hours in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Dallas police report that 11 officers were shot and five have died. Reportedly, two civilians were also shot.
Three suspects are in custody and Dallas police killed a fourth suspect in a parking garage early Friday morning by sending in a robot with a bomb attached to it after several hours of police negotiators talking with the man by phone.
RAW VIDEO: Our cameras captured the panic after the first shots were fired in downtown #Dallas Thursday night https://t.co/JXcapjFIHv— WFAA (@WFAA)1467957552.0
The suspect, federal law enforcement sources told the Washington Post, was 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, who is believed to be from the Dallas area.
"He said he was upset about the recent police shootings,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a Friday morning news conference. “The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
Friday morning, President Obama held a press confernce in Poland, where he is attending a NATO summit, and called the the sniper attack “vicious, calculated and despicable.” He said, “I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events.”
Obama said "We still don't know all the facts. What we do know is there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests...."
"I will have more to say about this as the facts become more clear. For now, let me just say that even as yesterday I spoke about our need to be concerned as all Americans about racial disparities in our criminal justice system, I also said yesterday that our police have an extraordinarily difficult job. And the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion. I also indicated the degree to which we need to be supportive of those officers who do their job each and every day protecting us and protecting our communities.
"Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us. We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. And in the days ahead, we're going to have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime, today our focus is on the victims and their families. They are heartbroken. The entire city of Dallas is grieving. Police across America, which is a tight-knit famly, feels this loss to their core. And we're grieving with them."
Rapidly Developing Story
Late Thursday night, there were a series of fast-breaking and not entirely correct reports posted in the press. Here is what the Washington Post and Dallas Morning News reported at 2am CST, shortly before police sent in a device that exploded and killed the fourth suspect.
Per Washington Post:
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said there may be more persons involved in the attack. He believes the four suspects worked together with rifles, “triangulated at elevated positions at difference places in the downtown area” to attack police officers.
The suspect in the El Centro garage said “there are bombs all over this place, in the garage and downtown,” according to Brown. FBI and ATV are on scene, canvassing for explosives. A suspicious package was found, and is being examined by the Dallas Police bomb squad.
“We are being very careful with our tactics, so we don’t injure or put any of our citizens in harm’s way,” he said.
Two of the suspects in custody were seen climbing into a black Mercedes with a camouflaged bag before speeding off. They were apprehended in the Oak Cliff area, a suburb of Dallas.
The third suspect in custody was near the El Centro garage.
Per the Dallas Morning News:
Dallas police released images of a man they called a suspect less than two hours after shooting during a downtown Dallas rally that left four officers dead and several others injured.
But video tweeted by a Dallas Morning News photographer after shots were fired showed the man standing with a crowd of protesters, and his brother immediately declared on a television interview that he wasn't a shooter.
Cory Hughes said that the man in the photos is his brother, Mark Hughes.
He said his brother brought an unloaded rifle to the rally and, when the shooting started, Cory told Mark to hand the gun to a police officer so he wouldn't be mistaken for the shooter, and Mark did.