A pair of shooters opened fire on cops during a protest against police brutality in Dallas Thursday night, killing at least five officers and wounding seven more, authorities said.
A gunman then exchanged gunfire with police in a prolonged standoff that ended early Friday when he shot and killed himself, police said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced early Friday that the attackers shot a total of 14 people: 12 cops and two civilians.
Dozens of shots echoed across the packed downtown streets around 8:45 p.m., forcing crowds of protesters to scatter for cover.
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Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the gunmen fired upon cops “ambush style” from “elevated positions” as the rally wound its way through downtown Dallas.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown areas and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Brown said.
Police took one female suspect into custody near El Centro College, as well as two men who were driving in a Mercedes with camouflage bags.
A fourth suspect holed himself in the second floor of a downtown parking garage, exchanging gunfire with police Friday morning.
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Brown said the gunman told cops “the end is coming,” and vowed to “hurt and kill” more officers. He also claimed that he had scattered bombs across downtown Dallas.
Officers spent hours trying to negotiate with the gunman, but Brown said they were “not getting the cooperation we would like.”
A source told Fox after 2 a.m. that the suspect had shot himself.
Police said that a suspicious package was found after the female suspect was captured and that a bomb squad was securing it.
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Maj. Max Geron posted on Twitter early Friday that sweeps around the area of the standoff did not find any explosives.
Brown said he believes all four suspects were working together and their possible “complicity” with the protesters is under investigation. Authorities have not determined if there are other suspects on the run.
Witness Ismael DeJesus told CNN that he saw a gunman pull up near El Centro College in an SUV and shoot a police officer.
“It looked like an execution. He stood over him when he was down and shot him maybe three of four more times in the back,” he told the network from a room at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
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DeJesus said that the violence “did look planned” and that the gunman, wearing tactical pants, was dropping magazines as he shot at cops.
El Centro College said early Friday that all students and staff who had been in their building during the lockdown had gotten out safe.
“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 the shooters “were strategic. It was tap, tap pause. Tap, tap pause.”
Dallas Police had tweeted a photo Thursday night of a man in camouflage with a gun slung over his shoulder, and identified him as a suspect. However, the department later said he was only a person of interest.
He was seen in a Dallas Morning News video walking around peacefully after the gunshots. Police said that the man had surrendered himself early Friday.
One of the slain cops was identified as Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson, 43. He had been on the force since 2009.
One wounded officer was identified by CBS DFW as five-year DART veteran Misty McBride. Her father Richard McBride said she was shot once in the arm and once in the abdomen, and was undergoing surgery.
Shetamia Taylor, a 37-year-old mother, was identified as the civilian shot. Her condition was not known.
“I ask everybody to focus on one thing right now and that is Dallas police officers, their families, those that are deceased, those that are in the hospital fighting for their lives,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
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.”
Before the shots were fired, the Dallas event had been peaceful, with Dallas Police live-tweeting the protest and about 100 cops monitoring it unfold. Brown said police officers worked with the organizers to plan the protest.
The violence erupted near the end of a week with fatal police shootings in Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, La., and suburban St. Paul, Minn., all of which sparked local and national protests.
An NYPD spokesman said that there were no threats against New York City, and that they were keeping a close watch on the situation in Dallas.
Amid the bloodshed, nationwide protests, shock and heartbreak, some people showed that they just didn’t get it.
“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you,” conservative talk radio host and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter.