As details of the fatal shootings of five police in Dallas, Texas emerged overnight, witnesses and protesters at a peaceful rally over police brutality were some of the first to capture events as they unfolded.
Video posted to social media showed the moment that gunshots first rang out around 8:45pm in a commercial and residential area downtown, just a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
At least 12 officers were shot as gunfire continued between police and snipers, and all seven who were wounded have been released from the hospital. Police Chief David Brown confirmed that three suspects had been taken into custody while a fourth suspect had been killed by police after an hours-long standoff at a downtown parking garage. Police have so far not identified any of the suspects in custody or the suspect who died.
Earlier Thursday evening, Dallas police had posted a photo of an alleged suspect that they later downgraded to a person of interest. The photo of the man, identified as Mark Hughes, was quickly shared on social media and by news outlets. But video also soon surfaced showing Hughes at the protest witnessing events unfold along with other demonstrators.
Outlets later interviewed Hughes and his brother who said that they had already received death threats after the images had been circulated. Hughes had been carrying a weapon but had handed it over to police as the shooting occurred.
Video shot by witnesses also appears to show one of the suspects exchange gunfire with officers from behind a building pillar in the plaza.
The White House posted video Friday morning of President Barack Obama's statement on the shootings. Obama, who spoke from Warsaw, Poland where he is attending a NATO summit, called the shooting a "vicious, calculated, and despicable attack on law enforcement."
"We are horrified over these events and we stand united with the people and police department in Dallas," Obama said. "Yesterday I spoke about our need to be concerned as all americans about racial disparities in our criminal justice system. I also said yesterday that our police have an extraordinarily difficult job and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion."
Dallas police continued to stream live press conferences on periscope Thursday and Friday as more information became available.
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