Five Dallas Police officers were killed when snipers opened fire on them during a Black Lives Matter protest on Thursday night. At least six other officers were injured in what CNN dubbed the deadliest attack on law enforcement officials since September 11, and at least four suspects were involved. Despite the assailants’ obvious intent to harm or kill cops, however, peaceful protesters in the immediate area were caught in the crossfire — including a mother who was hit while protecting her children.
According to the Associated Press, 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor “threw herself over her sons” when the first shots rang out over the crowd. Taylor and her four boys, whose ages range from 12 to 17, were attending the initially uneventful Black Lives Matter protest that coincided with similar marches across the country. Taylor’s sister, Theresa Williams, told an ABC News affiliate she’d been hit in the right calf and was undergoing surgery early Friday morning after the attack:
“She jumped on top to cover him on the ground as she pushed him in between two cars in the curb,” Williams told WFAA. “All she could think about was her other three boys — where are they at.”
Three of Taylor’s sons became stranded behind a police barricade during the officers’ ensuing gunfight with the suspects, which lasted until around 3:30 a.m. local time. The family was eventually reunited. Though as Williams described her sister, all she could talk about in the hospital were the “families of those police officers.”