(UPDATED, 2:30 a.m. PT) One suspect, who had been in a standoff with police for hours, reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot. Downtown Dallas is considered a crime scene. Police are sweeping the area for possible explosive devices and collecting evidence. Authorities encouraged residents and employees to avoid the region altogether. (Dallas Mornings News)
(UPDATED, 1 a.m. PT) The Dallas Police Department confirmed via Twitter that a fifth officer has died.
(UPDATED, 11 p.m. PT) A peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protest in Dallas Thursday night was marred by gunfire from a pair of snipers that hit 11 police officers, killing four.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown issued a statement that read, “Tonight [Thursday] it appears that two snipers shot 10 police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally. Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition. An intensive search for suspects is currently underway. No suspects are in custody at this time.”
Police later said that a fourth officer had died and 11 had been hit.
As the protest moved by a parking structure, a series of shots rang out just before 9 p.m., sending panicked protesters running for cover. Some estimates said that “50 to 75 shots” were fired.
Those hit include Dallas Police officers and DART transit officers. Three of the officers shot are reportedly in critical condition with two others in surgery.
Police initially released a photo of a man described as a “person of interest,” who is dressed in camouflage and armed with a rifle, but it was later reported that he was part of the protest and had turned his rifle into police. Still, he surrendered to police to clear his name.
Police were also questioning two people in a black Mercedes that were spotted leaving the scene with a camouflage bag.
Early Friday morning Brown said police had one suspect in a standoff. The suspect reportedly told officers that the “end is coming” and that there are “bombs all over the place.”