Five police officers shot dead in downtown Dallas attack

Dallas police detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS (KXAN) — Five police officers are dead and seven injured following a shooting in downtown Dallas, Thursday evening. Three suspects are currently in custody; a fourth suspect, after exchanging gunfire with police in a standoff in a downtown parking garage, is dead.

Snipers shot the 11 officers at the end of a protest against officer-involved shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. Dallas police say they have not found any explosives in the downtown area as they work to process the massive crime scene.

According to KXAS, police have identified the deceased suspect as Micah X. Johnson.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Live video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

DART Officer Brent Thompson died during the attack in downtown Dallas. (Courtesy: LinkedIn)
DART Officer Brent Thompson died during the attack in downtown Dallas. (Courtesy:DART)

The Dallas Mayor said a total of two civilians and 12 officers were shot. Of those shot, five officers died. One injured officer is currently in surgery, while one has been sent home and another is being evaluated for surgery.

One of the officers killed and three of those injured were Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers. DART identified the officer as Brent Thompson, 43.

At a 12:30 a.m. press conference Friday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said they have been negotiating with a suspect at the parking garage of El Centro College, who has been exchanging gunfire with officers. The man told negotiators that the “end is coming” and that he will hurt and kill more law enforcement. The suspect also told police there are bombs throughout downtown Dallas.

After several hours, authorities tell KXAS the suspect in the standoff is dead and two suspicious devices were found.

In addition to the second-floor garage standoff, Dallas police have in custody a woman who was in the same area as the garage.

Police followed a Mercedes after seeing another two suspects carrying camouflage bags. The two are in custody and being interviewed.

Chief Brown says they are not sure all suspects have been captured, and will continue a thorough search of the downtown area until they’re sure they have everyone.

“I have never been more proud of a police officer,” Brown said, referring to a Dallas officer who died in surgery, and the bravery of other officers who ran towards gunfire and those that helped the injured.

“We continue to fight the good fight to bring this to a conclusion, but it’s still a very tenuous situation,” the chief said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has asked people to avoid the crime scene, but warned the size of the crime scene may change. Updates on what parts of downtown Dallas are closed will be posted to dallascitynews.net.

“It is a heartbreaking morning, to lose these four officers, that proudly served our citizens. To say that our police officers put their life on the line every day is no hyperbole, ladies and gentleman, it is a reality,” Mayor Rawlings said at the press conference, his voice breaking.

Another man, a person of interest — seen armed in a photo with a camouflage shirt — has turned himself into police after the department identified him as a suspect in a Twitter post. His brother, in an interview with KXAS, said his brother was not involved and gave his weapon to an officer when the shooting started.

KXAS is reporting at least one civilian was injured while shielding her children from gunfire.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo released the following statement Thursday night:

As I watched our community come together at Givens Park to peacefully gather and demand police accountability in this Nation, I learned of the attack in Dallas against officers protecting the First Amendment Rights of their residents. I pause to pray for the officers who lost their lives and their families and for those still fighting for their lives, their families and colleagues.

I also pray for everyone who has lost their life due to a bad police shooting and/or from all forms of violence. Life is precious and we all have an absolute responsibility to cherish and respect each and every human being. Everyone has a presponsibility to respect life and all police officers have an absolute duty to do so.

I started this day with a heavy heart like many Ameicans and I end it with a heavy heart.”

Gov. Abbott has told the director of the Department of Public Safety to offer whatever assistance the city of Dallas needs. “In times like this we must remember — and emphasize — the importance of uniting as Americans,” the governor said.

Video posted to Facebook shows the shooting and police response. Warning: Strong Language:

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