In a brazen late night shooting in Dallas, Texas, five cops were shot dead by snipers during a protest march. Including the four, 11 cops were shot at by at least two unidentified snipers.
The protest march was against the fatal shootings of two African-American men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Dallas City Police Chief David Brown said that the snipers “ambushed” the cops firing from elevated positions. Some cops were shot in the back.
A witness said he saw one of the snipers from his hotel balcony. The witness told the cops that the gunman was wearing tactical pants and tactical shirt.
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) July 8, 2016
“He got out of there, walked over to the pillar, put a magazine in and started firing,” he said. “It did look planned. He knew where to stand, he had ammo ready.”
Brown said that three suspects have been arrested and a gun battle is own with a fourth.
The shooting started at 8.45pm US time near Belo Garden Park. The shots, which according to some witnesses were around 30, made the peaceful protestors run helter-skelter.
Police officers were seen taking positions behind vehicles and protective shields while aiming their guns towards the high-rises from where the snipers were shooting at them.
Police suspect that the shooters have strewn the area with bombs.
On Thursday, in the US, people across the country came together in many cities to protest against the killing of Philando Castile on Wednesday by a cop in Minnesota and Alton Sterling who was shot by a policeman on Tuesday in Louisiana.
Dallas was one of the cities where the protests were being held.
According to reports, 37-year-old Sterling was shot by either of two police officers who tackled him following a call from a homeless man.
The homeless man had told the cops that Sterling carried a gun – which he did.
According to reports, Sterling was shot at six times. Daily Mail reports that he was on probation and should not have been carrying a weapon. One of the officers who allegedly shot at Sterling was previously suspended for his involvement of the shooting of another black man in December 2014.
On the other hand, Castile, a school food services worker, was shot in Falcon Heights on Wednesday, outside Minneapolis.
He was driving with his fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, and 4-year-old daughter when he was pulled over for a broken taillight.
“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” Reynolds said as she live streamed the shooting on Facebook.
All blacks aren’t criminals
All muslims aren’t terrorists
All white cops aren’t racist killers
Don’t let hate fill your heart#Dallas
— Adam Catterall (@AdamCatterall) July 8, 2016
Police had detained a man named Mark Hughes, who was seen walking with an assault rifle with the protesters, as a “person of interest”.
His brother, Cory, took to Twitter to confirm that he was not involved in the shooting and that he handed over his gun to a police officer as soon as the shooting began.
The “suspect” In Dallas can be seen in this video NOT shooting! I think this is not the guy. pic.twitter.com/kRt45w7JdP
— TimMorehouse (@TimMorehouse) July 8, 2016
Hughes has now been released.