By Global News Staff/Associated Press
A large portion of downtown Dallas remains in lockdown early Friday morning after five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others injured in what has been described as an “ambush style” shooting during an anti-police protest Thursday night.
The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday 12 officers and 2 civilians were shot, and that he does not believe that any of the wounded victims have life-threatening injuries.
Police Chief David O. Brown told reporters earlier the snipers fired “ambush style” upon the officers. Mayor Mike Rawlings said one member of the public was wounded in the gunfire.
Three suspects are in custody.
A standoff with the other suspect, who was holed up at a parking garage in El Centro college, has ended. Police say the suspect is now dead.
NBC affiliate KXAS reports the suspect was “neutralized” after threatening the “end is coming” for police officers.
The central business district in downtown Dallas remains closed to pedestrians and traffic for the ongoing police investigation. The City of Dallas released a map of the off-limit areas.
The official Twitter account of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) confirmed one fatality was a transit officer saying, “Four DART police officers were shot in downtown Dallas. 1 deceased, others not life-threatening.”
The deceased DART officer has been identified as 43-year-old Brent Thompson who joined the force in 2009.
DART grieving the loss of Ofc Brent Thompson, 43, killed during Thurs protest. First DART officer killed in line of duty. Joined DART 2009.
— dartmedia (@dartmedia) July 8, 2016
It has been a devastating night. We are sad to report a fifth officer has died.
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) July 8, 2016
Four of the other officers who were killed were with the Dallas Police Department, a spokesman said.
US President Barack Obama said he was “horrified” at the Dallas attack and those responsible would be held “fully accountable.”
“We still don’t know all the facts but we know that there has been a vicious, despicable and calculated attack on law enforcement,” Obama said following a meeting with European officials at a NATO summit in Poland on Friday.
“We are horrified over these events and we stand unified with the people and the police department in Dallas.”
Early Friday morning, there were dozens of officers in the corridor of the ER at Baylor Medical Center, where other injured officers were taken. The mayor and police chief were seen arriving there.
Brown said that it appeared the shooters “planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could.”
The search for the shooters stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments.
The area is only a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Some of the injured officers were taken to Parkland Hospital.
The fatal police shootings occurred in a week when two black men were killed by officers in a span of 24 hours.
On Wednesday, a Minnesota officer 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 purportedly 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 cellphone video.