14 Officers Shot, 5 Dead in Dallas: Deadliest Event for Officers Since 9/11, Sniper(s) ‘Wanted to Kill White People, Especially White Officers’
From WFAA News:
DALLAS — Mayor Mike Rawlings has confirmed 12 police officers were shot and five were killed in an attack by snipers in downtown Dallas at a peaceful protest of officer-involved shootings across the country on Thursday night.
Two civilians were also shot during the attack.
“We’ve got a criminal investigation going on and our number one job is to make sure the citizens of Dallas are safe,” Mayor Rawlings said Friday morning.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said one suspect is dead after a long standoff with police. Negotiations were underway when Brown says the suspect told police he was angry over #BlackLivesMatter and was mad at white people. He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.
He also mentioned “the end was coming” and that he was “going to hurt and kill more” officers. He said bombs were planted all over the garage and downtown.
After negotiations went sour and gunfire was exchanged, Chief Brown says officers had to use a bomb robot to detonate the area around the suspect and kill him.
A female suspect was taken into custody earlier in the night. A third person was arrested but released. Police are still investigating whether anyone else was involved.
One DART officer and four Dallas police officers were killed.
It is the deadliest event for police officers in the United States since September 11, 2001.
“Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken,” Chief Brown said in a Friday morning press conference.
“Please pray for our strength during this trying time,” Chief Brown said.
He also applauded the “brave men and women who do this job under great scrutiny.”
Here’s what we know:
— Brown said it’s unclear how many suspects were involved, but three people are in custody.
— Police negotiated and exchanged gunfire with a suspect for hours at a parking garage in downtown Dallas. That suspect is dead, a law enforcement official told CNN. The official did not say how the suspect died.
— “The suspect told our negotiators that the end is coming,” Brown said. The suspect at the garage also told negotiators more officers were going to get hurt, and that bombs had been planted all over downtown.
— Police found no explosives during primary and secondary sweeps of the area, Dallas police Maj. Max Geron said Friday morning on Twitter.
— Two of the shooters were snipers who fired “ambush-style” from an “elevated position,” Brown said.
— Officers killed include one officer with DART, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency, which operates buses and commuter rail in the city and surrounding suburbs.
— DART identified the officer killed as Brent Thompson, 43. He joined the transit agency in 2009, and was its first officer killed in the line of duty, DART tweeted.
— Thompson got married two weeks ago to a fellow transit officer, DART police Chief James Spiller told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.
— Witness Ismael Dejesus said he filmed a shooter from his hotel balcony about 50 yards away. He described the gunman as carrying a weapon with a “pretty big magazine.”
— Retired FBI Special Agent Steve Moore said an attack of that magnitude required advance work.
— “This was an attack planned long before — waiting for an opportunity to go,” Moore said. “I think there was so much logistically, ammunition-wise. They may not have planned the location, they may not have planned the vantage point. But they had prepared for an attack before last night’s shooting is my guess.”
— President Barack Obama, who is in Warsaw, Poland, said his team is keeping him updated. “We still don’t know all the facts, we do know there’s been a vicious, calculated and despicable act on law enforcement,” Obama said. “I believe I speak for every American when I say we are horrified.”
Peaceful protest shattered
Witnesses said the protesters were marching peacefully when the gunfire started. Crowds scattered.
“In the midst of it, gunshots just started barreling out,” witness Michael Jackson told CNN’s Don Lemon. “I immediately started running the opposite way.”
G.J. McCarthy said he thought it was fireworks at first. The bangs got louder, and protesters realized it was gunfire.
“That went on for a while,” he said. Crowds ran into a parking garage and spilled out after word spread of a nearby sniper.
Clarissa Myles was eating at a McDonald’s when the peaceful protests suddenly turned chaotic.
“Everyone was screaming, people were running,” she said. “I saw at least probably 30 shots go off.”