Chaos and terror erupted just before 9pm Thursday night in downtown Dallas. Five police officers were killed during a coordinated ambush that also injured seven other officers and two civilians, interrupting a demonstration that had kicked off earlier in the day against recent police killings in Minnesota and Louisiana.
Here's what we know so far about the attacks:
- Authorities say at least one gunman — possibly several — fired "sniper style" from "elevated positions."
- One suspect is dead after an hours-long standoff in a parking garage. Dallas police chief David Brown said the suspect died early Friday morning after a bomb was detonated.
- Multiple media outlets have cited identified unnamed law enforcement and US government sources as saying the dead suspect is 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, but police have not yet confirmed those reports. Johnson was reportedly from Mesquite, Texas, which is about 15 miles east of Dallas. He reportedly had "no prior criminal record" and "no terrorist ties." Reuters cited an unnamed "government source" as saying Johnson was a veteran, having been in the US Army Reserve.
- Police said another suspect was taken into custody earlier in the evening after a shootout with officers, but the New York Times quoted an unnamed senior law enforcement official as saying it appears that Johnson was the lone gunman.
- Two other people who were seen speeding away from the scene of the shooting in a black Mercedes were also taken into custody. They were reportedly questioned and released shortly after midnight, though police have not confirmed this.
- Chief Brown said the suspect who died in the parking garage told police he was upset about recent police shootings of black Americans. He reportedly said he "wanted to kill white people," especially white police officers.
- One man who was identified as a "person of interest" by police was questioned and released after turning himself in. He was shown wearing a camouflage shirt and carrying an assault rifle, but was apparently just exercising his "open carry" gun rights.
- Four of the officers who were killed were with the Dallas Police Department, a spokesman said. One was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer, identified as 43-year-old Brent Thompson, a member of the department since 2009.
- The seven injured officers have all been released from the hospital.
- The attack is the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since 9/11.
- Mass transit was shut down in downtown Dallas after the attack, with several sections of the downtown area barred from the public. Transit authority DART later said on its website that trains had resumed running through the downtown area.
- Commercial flights over downtown Dallas where the violence occurred were temporarily banned, although airports remained open. Several city blocks have been cordoned off as police investigate.
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