Dallas police have killed at least one gunman who ambushed officers protecting a protest against recent cop shootings of black men on Thursday, killing five and injuring at least seven officers as well as two civilians.
“We cornered one suspect and we tried to negotiate for several hours,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a Friday morning news conference, but “negotiations broke down” and turned into “an exchange of gunfire with the suspect.”
“We saw no other option than to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension to detonate where the suspect was,” Brown told reporters. "Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger."
Just before 9 p.m. Thursday, as a peaceful protest against the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile -- one of several nationwide -- wrapped up, shots rang out and an hours long ambush and standoff with police began. The violence didn’t end until about 2:30 a.m., according to Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed.
"The suspect said he was not affiliated with any group and that he did this alone," Brown said Friday morning.
According to police, 12 officers were shot (10 men and two women), five of whom died. Officials said eight of the officers are Dallas police and four are Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers. 2 civilians were also shot, police said.
So far, one of the slain officers has been identified as 43 year old David Thompson. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer had been with the department since 2009 and reportedly got married to a fellow officer in recent weeks.
“As you can imagine, our hearts are broken,” the transit district said in a statement. “This is something that touches every part of our organization.”
Three people were detained shortly after the killings and remain in police custody, although, officials described them as "uncooperative."