(ED. NOTE: This post has been updated with new information as it’s become available over the hours since initial reports came out.)
Shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter protest in the downtown area of Dallas tonight. Details are still coming in from the scene but as ABC 7 is currently reporting two officers have been shot, their conditions unknown. As spectators flee the scene, the remaining law enforcement has appeared to focus their attention on a nearby parking garage which may be serving as a shooter’s nest.
The crowd has scattered as more law enforcement joins the search for what appears to be a man armed with a long gun. Reports of how many shots have been fired in the area are varied, and the scene is currently chaotic as officers and EMTs arrive.
A video from FOX News shows a police officer and possible security personnel lying motionless on the ground in the middle of the street.
Warning, these images may be disturbing and graphic.
A scary video posted by a protestor shows the initial scramble as the first shots rang out. People in the crowd can clearly be heard screaming “Go! Go! Go! Run! … There’s a gun!” as they scramble.
Two witnesses on the scene who remain anonymous say they heard at least 20-30 shots fired when they started to run towards safety in a nearby building. Others say that it has gone on for longer than a short burst, and that the shots could number as many as 200 at this point in the attack as the gunman faces off against police officers.
Officers on the scene are taking refuge behind vehicles as they work to safely clear the scene and secure the area. As law enforcement surrounds a building where they believe the shooter to be hiding, protestors continue to chant in the background.
A Facebook Live video shot from “behind a tree” at the scene shows a group of police officers actively shooting from behind their vehicles, and is a shocking thing to watch in as close to real time as possible. As the video shows, officers moved with their guns drawn towards a supposed location of a suspect. They then surround somebody on the ground, but from this video alone it is difficult to assess whether they are attending to a fallen comrade or approaching a dangerous individual.
UPDATE: As the scene remains unsettling and in flux, a local FOX affiliate is now reporting that anywhere from three to six officers have been shot, while a CBS source shows law enforcement apprehending two individuals. Whether additional suspects are still at large remains unclear.
UPDATE #2: The latest reports from CNN and others are now saying at least three DART officers have been shot, with no word if that is the final number of casualties or what the status is of those injured officers. Mixed reports are speculating that one or more shooters are in the Omni Hotel and may be wearing tactical gear.
UPDATE #3: Authorities in Dallas report that the shootings were carried out by at least two snipers. Four law enforcement officers are confirmed dead, three more are in critical condition. Suspects are reported to be in custody, and a possible bomb is being investigated.
UPDATE #4: Police say they are negotiating with one of the shooters, who claims he has explosives set up to detonate all over the downtown Dallas area. It is believed that up to four shooters might have been working together on the attack.
UPDATE #5: The Dallas Police Department has announced that a fifth police officer has died.
UPDATE #6: One of the reported suspects has died after police detonated a robotic bomb in the area he was bunkered down.
UPDATE #7: The Dallas police chief spoke this morning and offered some information on the suspect who was killed, most notably that he indicated that he was upset with cops and white people over the recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Chief David Brown also offered some poignant words, saying “We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
UPDATE #8: The names of the slain law enforcement officials are Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, and Brent Thompson. Our thoughts are with their friends, families, and colleagues.
UPDATE #9: A Washington Post story on Dallas police chief David Brown revealed something startling and heartbreaking: his son killed a police officeR and was later killed by police in 2010.
(via ABC 7/FOX News/CBS Dallas-Forth Worth)