Eleven Dallas law enforcement officers were shot, four fatally, on Thursday by what is believed to be two snipers who opened fire during a demonstration downtown over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, the Dallas police chief said.
Police initially said three officers were killed, two others were in surgery and three were in critical condition. Dallas police later announced that "a fourth officer has been killed." It is unclear if that officer is among the 11 shot.
The snipers fired from an elevated positions on police officers minutes before 9 p.m. CT, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
"We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could," Brown said at a news conference — noting that some were shot in the back.
Police had cornered one of the suspected shooters in a parking garage, Brown said, and were negotiating with him.
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Brown said police believe the suspects may have threatened to have plant a bomb in the downtown area, and were in contact with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Around 800 people were at the demonstration, and around 100 police officers were assigned to the event and the surrounding area, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. The shooting occurred after the demonstration ended and as a march was taking place
Several hundred people had gathered at park and march Thursday in reaction to the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Tuesday and Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb.
The demonstration in Dallas was one of several held in cities across the county Thursday, most of them peacefully.
In Saint Paul, Minnesota, a crowd estimated to be more than a thousand strong gathered outside a school where one of those men killed, Philando Castile, worked as a kitchen supervisor.