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Jul 08 2016

Dallas Protest Shooting: 5 Officers Dead, 7 Injured

Dallas protest shooting

Dallas, TX – A protest against police violence ended with the deaths of five police officers last night. Another seven were injured, some of which are undergoing emergency surgery (original reports stated 11 officers had been shot, but the most recent updates via CNN and ABC are stating it was 12). Two civilians were also injured. Officials say the Dallas protest shooting was the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11.

Protestors had gathered in downtown Dallas yesterday to protest the deaths of two black men, 32-year-old Philando Castile and 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who had been shot by police only one day apart. In both cases, cellphone videos of the events went viral and made headline news. Castile was shot during a traffic stop for a broken taillight; he was a legal gun owner with a concealed carry permit. Sterling was shot after police responded to a 911 call about an armed man. Sterling was pinned to the ground when he was shot at point blank range.

Shots began around 9pm (10pm EST). One witness claims that at least one shooter used an AR-15 “clear as day” with several high capacity magazines. One suspect died in a standoff with police; police say he claims to have acted alone, however two other suspects were arrested. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said this morning that the suspect was angry about violence against blacks, the Black Lives Matter movement, and that he wanted to “kill white people,” especially white police officers. He also told officers he had planted bombs in the area. When negotiations between police and the suspect went downhill, Dallas police used explosives to kill him. Police also report that some of the officers were shot by snipers in two separate, elevated positions. Investigators are calling this a planned attack.

Police initially identified one man as a suspect and circulated his photo on social media. However he turned himself in and was released. Family members state he had been present as a protestor, not a gunman.

Police had not yet released all the names of the victims, but among them was 43-year-old Brent Thompson of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Three of the injured officers – Omar Cannon, 44; Misty McBride, 32; Jesus Retana, 39 – are also with DART, and are all expected to recover.

A local college in the area has had all classes canceled for the day. Employees of the downtown area have been encouraged to check with their employers to see if their buildings will be open today. Public transportation will be delayed or suspended in some areas as police continue their investigations and some areas of the city will be blocked off from the public. As of this morning, investigators say they have swept the areas for explosives twice and have cleared the area.

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