11 Officers Shot At Dallas Protest Against Police Shootings

Thursday, July 7th 2016, 10:35 pm
By: News 9

Dallas police say five officers were shot and killed, and six others wounded by snipers during a protest Thursday night against recent deadly police shootings. Some of the injured officers were in critical condition.

By early morning, three suspects were in custody and another was in a gunfire-laced standoff with police in a downtown Dallas parking garage.

There were reports that standoff ended with the suspect in custody.

One of the slain officer has been identified as a member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) force:

The snipers shot down at the officers from an "elevated position," Dallas police chief David Brown said in a statement. He raised the question of how the snipers knew the route of the protest in order to position themselves.

"They planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could," Chief Brown said.

Dallas police conducted a massive mobilization in the downtown after the shootings, creating a massive crime scene. Buses and public transportation was shut down, stranding hundreds of people in downtown Dallas.

Early Friday, Chief Brown said that police were still in negotiations with a man with whom they exchanged gunfire. That man said "the end is coming" and that he wanted to hurt police. The man also said there were bombs scattered in the downtown.

Earlier, police released on Twitter a man who they said was a person of interest. That man has turned himself and was later released. Police have also arrested two men in camouflage gear who were seen in the area in a Mercedes.

Chief Brown said they were concerned that there may be other suspects still at large.

The shots were fired at approximately 8:45 p.m. CST on Thursday night, as hundreds of protesters marched in downtown Dallas to protest recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. The Dallas protests were one of various protests held across the nation Thursday night in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Baton Rouge and other cities.

"At first I thought it was a firecracker," one witness, Clarissa Myles, told CBS News. "I saw at least 30 shots go off."

"I knew it was a high caliber rifle, just from the pause and sound itself," one witness, Jamal Johnson, told KTVT. He described terrified protesters rushing to use a bus station for cover as shots rang out.

Another witness said it appeared the shots came from the roof of a parking garage.

Earlier tonight, in cities across the country, protesters pounded the pavement to express their heartbreak, fury and frustration over the murders of two unarmed black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, this week. Video footage of both murders, shared widely on the internet, has helped narrow the emotional distance the American public usually feels in police shootings of black Americans.

In St. Paul, Minnesota -- where Philando Castile was killed during a routine traffic stop with his girlfriend watching -- hundreds marched to the Governor's Mansion alongside the victim's mother, Valerie Castile, who is just one day into mourning her son's death, CBS Minneapolis affiliate WCCO reported.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has said that, in his opinion, police officers acted "way in excess" in shooting and killing Castile and would not have done so if he was white. The moment after Castile's shooting were captured by Castile's girlfriend, Lavisha Reynolds, who turned on Facebook's live streaming feature seconds after her boyfriend was shot and narrated the entire encounter to her network.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Alton Sterling was murdered, protesters gathered outside the Living Faith Christian Center with fists raised and chants on "No justice, no peace," according to CBS Baton Rouge affiliate WAFB. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards addressed protesters at a prayer vigil directly before the protest.

In New York, approximately 1,000 demonstrators marched from Union Square to Times Square.

In Washington, D.C., throngs of protesters gathered outside Capitol Hill and joined in song, swaying side to side to "We Shall Overcome." They chanted the now-familiar refrains: "Black lives matter" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

In Chicago, one group of protesters gathered outside a South Side police headquarters before taking their rally to the Dan Ryan Expressway, where they blocked traffic for several minutes, CBS Chicago affiliate WBBM reported. Another group of demonstrators marched downtown and reportedly tried to take their protest into the city's popular "Taste of Chicago" event in Grant Park, WBBM reported.

"It's just like we're animals," Philando Castile's sister, Alize Castile, said today. "It's basically modern-day lynching that we're seeing going on, except we're not getting hung by a tree anymore - we're getting killed on camera."

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