President says America is "horrified" over Dallas gunfire that killed five

Published: Jul. 7, 2016 at 10:42 PM CDT
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Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday morning, "We are hurting," in the aftermath of gunfire that killed five officers. Seven other officers and two civilians were injured.

The chief said some of the injured officers have been released from the hospital. Others will need additional treatment.

Two snipers opened fire shooting 12 Dallas law enforcement officers Thursday night.

Eleven officers were initially said to have been injured. On Friday morning Mayor Mike Rawlings says 12 officers and 2 civilians were shot.

The violence erupted during what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration. At least 800 people attended Thursday night's rally in Dallas and about 100 police officers were on patrol.

The gunfire happened during protests over this week's fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota of two black men.

The snipers opened fire from above in what is being described as an "ambush style attack" shooting from vantage points to hurt as many officers as possible.

One of those officers has been identified as 43-year-old Brent Thompson. He'd been with the department since 2009.

As the gunshots rang out, the crowds started to flee. Witnesses describe a chaotic scene

One said, “This is him right here, to the right of that white pillar, shooting to the left, turns around, shoots to the right, shoots on the other side of that pillar and then somebody turns around, tries to shoot at him - he got hit. Boom! Kept going.”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “I ask everybody to focus on one thing right now. And that is our Dallas Police officers, their families, those that are deceased, those that are in the hospital.”

As for the suspects, police exchanged gunfire with one of them at a parking garage. That person has died. Three others have been taken into custody though it was not immediately clear how many more may be involved.

During the standoff with the suspect in the garage, Chief Brown said the suspect said he was angry about the recent police shootings of two black men. He said he wanted to kill white police officers.

That suspect also told police they would eventually find explosives in the city. Police swept the area for explosives but found none.

Chief Brown said Friday that his department used a robot-delivered bomb to kill a suspect after hours of negotiations failed.

While authorities have not formally identified the man, law enforcement sources have said he is Micah Johnson, 25, a resident of the Dallas area.

Security was tight Friday morning with numerous streets closed to vehicle traffic in the main downtown Dallas business district hours after Thursday night's attacks.

Maj. Max Geron tweeted before dawn Friday that primary and secondary sweeps for explosives were complete and no explosives were found.

The gunfire claimed the lives of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. DART serves Dallas and a dozen other North Texas cities. The transit agency operates buses and the state's largest municipal rail system.

President Barack Obama says America is "horrified" over the shootings and there's no possible justification for the attacks.

Obama was speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where he's meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit.

The president said justice will be done and he's asking all Americans to pray for the fallen officers and their families. He also says the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.

Obama said earlier there was no contradiction between supporting law enforcement and making certain biases in the justice system are rooted out.

Loretta Lynch

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the Dallas police shootings "an unfathomable tragedy" in a week of "profound heartbreak and loss," but violence is not the answer.

She thanked law enforcement officers for the work they do.

For those who are working to improve our country through peaceful means she said, "Your voice is important," and she said, "The answer is never violence." She said the answer must be action and she said that includes acting on the ease with which weapons can be obtained.

A memorial group says these killings are the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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