Snipers in Dallas carried out a coordinated attack targeting police officers during a demonstration against police violence late Thursday. Five police officers have been killed and at least six others were wounded in an ambush in the city's downtown. Authorities say they are releasing only limited information about the three suspects in custody while the criminal investigation continues, but say so far there is no evidence that the attack is linked to international terror groups.
What We Know
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says 12 officers and 2 civilians were shot during the march. Five of the officers were killed. The Dallas police chief said most of the injured officers have been released.
- Police believe up to four suspects coordinated their ambush using rifles and some were reportedly wearing body armor. Three suspects are in custody. The Dallas mayor said one of the suspects is a female African American. Authorities say they are releasing only limited information about the suspects because of the ongoing criminal investigation.
- A fourth suspect who had an hours-long standoff with police at a downtown parking garage was killed when authorities used a robot to detonate an explosive near him. The police chief said officers tried to negotiate with the suspect for several hours. He said authorities decided to use a robot to kill the suspect after an exchange of gunfire.
- The police chief said that before the suspect was killed, he spoke at length to a hostage negotiator. The chief said the suspect claimed he was upset over police shootings that have killed black people. The suspect said he was upset at white people and stated he wanted to kill white people -- especially white police officers. However he said the suspect claimed he was not part of any larger group involved in the attacks. The suspect said the police would eventually find improvised explosive devices, however after extensive sweeps no explosives have been found. The chief said the suspect was angry and lucid in his discussions with officers before he was killed.
- President Obama condemned the killings as "a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement." Speaking in Warsaw where he is attending a NATO summit, Obama said police have "an extraordinarily difficult job" and the shootings are "a wretched reminder" of the hazards police face. He also again called for more stringent gun control. "When people are armed with powerful weapons unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic."
- The Dallas attack followed the killing of two black men by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside Minneapolis. Video footage of the killings has been shared widely on social media, leading to protests across the country, including Thursday's rally of about 1,000 people in Dallas. The killings are now the subject of official investigations.