A pair of shooters opened fire on officers during a protest against police brutality in Dallas Thursday night, killing at least five officers and wounding six others, authorities said. A gunman then exchanged gunfire with police during a prolonged standoff that ended early Friday.
One civilian was also wounded in the attack, police said.
Dozens of shots echoed across the packed downtown streets around 8:45 p.m., with crowds of protesters scattering for cover.
Police Chief David Brown said that two snipers opened fire at a demonstration “ambush style” from elevated positions.
Police took one female suspect into custody after a shootout near El Centro College, and two men who were driving in a Mercedes with a camouflage bag.
A fourth suspect holed himself in the second floor of a downtown parking garage, exchanging gunfire with police through early Friday morning.
Brown said the gunman told cops “the end is coming,” and vowed to “hurt and kill” more officers. He also said he scattered bombs across downtown.
Officers spent hours trying to negotiate with the gunman, but were “not getting the cooperation we would like,” Brown said.
A source told Fox 4 after 2 a.m. that the suspect had shot himself.
Police said that a suspicious package was found after the female suspect was captured and that a bomb squad was securing it. Officers were scouring the area early Friday for other explosives.
Brown said he believes all four suspects were working together. Their possible “complicity” with the protesters is under investigation, he said. Police are also not sure if there are other suspects on the run.
The violence erupted near the end of a week with fatal police shootings in Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, La., and suburban St. Paul, Minn., all of which sparked local and national protests.
Witness Ismael DeJesus told CNN that he saw a gunman pull up near El Centro College in an SUV and shoot a police officer.
“It looked like an execution. He stood over him when he was down and shot him maybe three of four more times in the back,” he told the network from a room at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
DeJesus said that the violence “did look planned” and that the gunman, wearing tactical pants, was dropping magazines as he shot at cops.
El Centro College said early Friday that all students and staff who had been in their building during the lockdown had gotten out safe.
Dallas Police had tweeted a photo Thursday night of a man in camouflage with a gun slung over his shoulder, and identified him as a suspect. But the department later said he was only a person of interest.
The man was seen in a Dallas Morning News video walking around peacefully after the gunshots. Police said that the man had turned himself in early Friday.
One of the slain officers, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, was identified as Officer Brent Thompson, 43. He had been on the force since 2009.
One wounded officer was identified by CBS DFW as five-year DART veteran Misty McBride. Her father Richard McBride said she was shot once in the arm and once in the abdomen, and was undergoing surgery.
Shetamia Taylor, a 37-year-old mother, was identified as the civilian shot. Her condition was not known.
“I ask everybody to focus on one thing right now and that is Dallas police officers, their families, those that are deceased, those that are in the hospital fighting for their lives,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer “whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time.”
Before the shots were fired, the Dallas event had been peaceful, with Dallas Police live-tweeting the protest and about 100 cops monitoring it unfold. Brown said police officers worked with the organizers to plan the protest.
An NYPD spokesman said that there were no threats against New York City, and that they were keeping a close watch on the situation in Dallas.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
With JOHN ANNESE