DALLAS, July 7 (UPI) — Five Dallas-area police officers have been killed and seven others wounded Thursday night after sniper-style shootings rang out during a protest over black men being killed by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, authorities said.
Police said one suspect was engaged in a shootout with police while holed up in a parking garage, and that man has told negotiators bombs have been planted around the city.
Another man who was photographed on the street during the march carrying a rifle on his shoulder and who police initially described as “one of our suspects” on Twitter — but who was later described as a “person of interest” in media reports — had turned himself in to police, according to media reports.
It was not immediately clear whether the man photographed and identified by police was involved in the shootings, or if he had been misidentified.
He said early Friday that “two officers are in surgery and three are in critical condition.”
Police have since clarified the numbers, according to CNN: 10 officers and one civilian were shot at the scene and four of those police officers were killed. The 11th officer was wounded during the shootout at the parking garage and had been taken to an area hospital.
Three of the officers killed were members of the Dallas Police Department. The fourth was a member of the Dallas transit police.
The Dallas Morning News said at least one suspect was tracked to a parking garage, where he was holed up on the second story of the facility, when a shootout took place. Officers were attempting negotiations and also returning gunfire with the suspect.
NBC News said the suspect told police “the end is coming.”
Brown said preliminary evidence suggests the suspects positioned themselves above the protest march in a manner to “triangulate” what was, to that point, a peaceful demonstration of the police killings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota in the previous days, two incidents that were captured by witnesses and widely distributed online.
“Some [of the officers] were shot in the back,” the Dallas police chief said. “We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers.”
“Give our officers strength to catch these suspects and bring them to justice tonight,” Brown said.
Texas Gov. Rick Abbott cut short an out-of-state trip and was headed to Dallas early Friday, the Morning News reported.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference it was a “heartbreaking morning, to lose these four officers who proudly served.”