Friday, July 8, 2016

Black Snipers Kill 5 Police Officers After Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest in Downtown Dallas

DALLAS (CN) - Snipers killed five Dallas police officers and wounded six more at the end of a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest against police brutality Thursday night in what Mayor Mike Rawlings calls the city's "worst nightmare."
     Dallas Police Chief David Brown said it appeared the shooters triangulated their fire from elevated positions downtown.
     "We believe these suspects have threatened to plant a bomb downtown," Brown told reporters. 'We have reached out to the FBI and ATF to search for these suspects and make a very thorough search of the area where a bomb may be planted."
     In a disturbing viral video shot from a nearby building, one of four known suspects was dressed in tan long-sleeved top and white pants. He is seen firing a long rifle outside an entrance at El Centro College at an unknown target across the street. A police officer engages the suspect from behind and hides behind a pillar for cover. The suspect is shown running around the other side of the pillar and shooting the officer dead from behind.
     Brown told reporters around midnight that negotiations were continuing with the suspect at a parking garage across the street.
     "This suspect we are negotiating with is exchanging gunfire with us and not being very cooperative," Brown said. "He said that the 'end is coming' and that he is going to kill and hurt more of us and that there are more bombs in the garage and downtown."
     Three suspects were taken into custody within hours of the shooting, including a person of interest who reportedly engaged in a shootout with SWAT officers.
     "A suspicious package was discovered near this suspect's location," Dallas police tweeted. "The package is being secured by DPD bomb squad."
          Police arrested two people during a traffic stop of a Mercedes at Interstate 35E and Kiest Boulevard after the shootings.
     "A DPD officer observed an individual carrying a camouflaged bag, walked quickly down Lamar Street," police tweeted. "The individual threw the bag in the back of a black Mercedes and the Mercedes sped off at a high rate of speed."
     Teams of police in tactical gear could be seen from the street clearing and securing every room inside the community college complex, as well as each floor of the parking garage.
     Approximately 800 people were marching east on Commerce Street near the central business district at the end of the protest at 9 p.m. when at least 20 gunshots from high-caliber weapons were heard. Eyewitnesses said the shots targeted police at the perimeter of the protesters.
     Dallas Area Rapid Transit identified one of the victims as Officer Brent Thompson, 43, the first officer killed in the agency's history. Dallas police had yet to announce the identities of its four slain officers early Friday morning.
     The protest in Dallas was one of many throughout the nation in the wake of two high-profile killings of black men by police in recent days. A video of an unarmed Alton Sterling being shot to death by Baton Rouge police went viral on Tuesday.
     One day later, a video of Philando Castile after being shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis went viral.
     Fighting back tears, Mayor Rawlings asked citizens to focus on the police, their families, the deceased and those in the hospital.
     "We have one of the best police forces in the nation," he said. "We have done the right things regarding civil rights ... Please, let's come together as a city."
     The attack on Dallas police comes one year after a Mesquite man riddled police headquarters with hundreds of bullets and set bombs, then shot at pursuing police cars as he drove away in an armored van.
     James Lance Boulware, 35, reportedly blamed police for the loss of his son in a custody battle. He was killed hours later by a police sniper in a Jack in the Box parking lot in Hutchins.
     Police officers asked the city for more security after the attack, including bulletproof glass, 24-hour video surveillance at headquarters and securely fenced parking lots at all police stations.

Photo caption:
Dallas police respond after shots were fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Photo caption 2Police and others gather at the emergency entrance to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, where several police officers were taken after shootings Thursday, July 7, 2016.. (AP Photo/Emily Schmall)