Five Dallas police officers were killed and six others were wounded by snipers on Thursday night during a demonstration protesting shootings by officers in Minnesota and Louisiana this week.
The gunfire broke out around 8.45 pm on Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest against fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.
The protesters had gathered after a Minnesota officer on Wednesday fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child in a St. Paul suburb. The aftermath of the shooting was livestreamed in a widely shared Facebook video.
A day earlier, Alton Sterling was shot in Louisiana after being pinned to the pavement by two white officers. That, too, was captured on a mobile phone video.
Three suspects are in custody after the snipers fired “ambush style” upon the officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters.
The fourth suspect, currently holed up in a parking garage, is not cooperating and has told negotiators he intends to hurt more law enforcement officials, the chief said.
The police believe four suspects coordinated the attack with rifles, he said, and positioned themselves in strategic locations near the route the protesters planned to take. The police had three people in custody and were negotiating in the early-morning hours with a fourth, who was in a garage in downtown Dallas at El Centro, a community college.
That suspect had exchanged gunfire with the police and was being uncooperative in talks, Chief Brown said at a news conference in the lobby of City Hall.
A civilian in the crowd of almost 1,000 people was also wounded.