Snipers shot dead five police officers and injured seven others in "ambush style" firing in the US city of Dallas during a demonstration against the fatal police shootings of black men this week, making it one of the deadliest attack on law enforcers in the country.
The shooting began near one of the busiest parts of the city’s downtown, filled with hotels and restaurants. Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters that two snipers fired “ambush style” from an elevated position late last night.
Dallas police negotiated and exchanged gunfire with one of the suspects for hours at a parking garage in downtown.
“That suspect is dead,” a law enforcement official told CNN. The official did not say how the suspect died.
According to the police chief, the suspects have threatened to have placed a bomb in the downtown area and that his department was coordinating with federal agencies.
During a press conference, Brown said one of the suspects had told negotiators that “the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us — meaning law enforcement — and that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown.”
There may be others out there. “We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” Brown said.
Brown said investigators are working under the assumption that all the suspects were working together.
He had initially said one of the suspects was arrested last night after a shootout with the police. A suspicious package was found near him and has been secured by a bomb squad.
As the tragic shooting incident continued to unfold, US President Barack Obama was briefed about the incident, according to the White House.
Obama, who is in Warsaw for the NATO Summit, denounced the “despicable” attacks in Dallas.
“There has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement,” Obama said, adding that the officers were “targeted” by multiple suspects.
Earlier upon his arrival in the Polish capital said that the fatal shootings of black men by police this week in Louisiana and Minnesota were “symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities” and all Americans should be troubled by these incidents of brutality.
“All of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system,” Obama said.
Citing statistics that showed black people were far more likely to be arrested and shot by police, Obama said African- Americans are 30 per cent more likely than whites to be pulled over. “After being pulled over, African-Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched.”
It was the deadliest single attack on law enforcement since the 2001 terror attacks, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.