11 officers shot, 4 fatally in Dallas demonstration

0607 ShootingDallas, Texas — (NBC News) Eleven Dallas law enforcement officers were shot, four fatally, on Thursday by what is believed to be two snipers who opened fire during a demonstration downtown over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, the Dallas police chief said.

The snipers fired from an elevated positions on police officers minutes before 9 p.m. CT, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown. He described the shootings as “ambush style.”

“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Brown said at a news conference — noting that some were shot in the back.

Police were in a standoff with one suspect in the second floor of a parking garage at around 12:30 a.m. and were exchanging gunfire with him, Brown said. Another suspect, a woman, was taken into custody near the garage, and two people seen leaving the area in a Mercedes were stopped and were being questioned.

The suspect in the standoff with police “has told our negotiators that the end is coming, and he is 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,” Brown said.

There may be others out there. “We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” Brown said, warning that a search in downtown could last through morning.

Police were in contact with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Brown said.

Police initially said three officers were killed. A fourth officer who had been in surgery later died, Brown said. Three of the four slain officers were Dallas police officers, and the fourth was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer, he said. A civilian was also wounded, authorities said.

Around 800 people were at the demonstration, and around 100 police officers were assigned to the event and the surrounding area, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. The shooting occurred after the demonstration ended and as a march was taking place.

“At 8:58, our worst nightmare happened,” Rawlings said. “It is a heartbreaking moment for the city of Dallas, Rawlings said.

A person at the protest said they were “making our second lap” when gunfire erupted.

“We heard shots, we smelled gunpowder, and that’s when everything got really intense and surreal,” the witness told MSNBC. “We just started to run and grab kids,” he said.

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