At least one sniper in Dallas killed five police officers and wounded seven more in a coordinated attack that ended when police used a robot bomb to kill a shooter who told them he wanted to kill white officers, authorities said Friday. The attack came during one of several protests across the United States against the killing of two black men by police this week, the latest in a long string of killings that gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. Police described Thursday night’s ambush as carefully planned, with some shots apparently fired from rooftop positions, and said they had taken three people into custody before killing a fourth after a long standoff in a downtown garage. Informs:REUTERS.
“We had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters at City Hall. “The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter,” said Brown, who is black. “He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” In talking with police negotiators, the suspect said he was not affiliated with any group and acted alone, according to Brown.
The attack came in a week that two black men were fatally shot by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside Minneapolis. The killings, both now the subject of official investigations, inflamed tensions about race and justice in the United States.
Quinyetta McMillon, who had a child with Alton Sterling, the black man slain by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier this week, condemned the Dallas attack in a statement.
“We wholeheartedly reject the reprehensible acts of violence that were perpetrated against members of the Dallas Police Department,” McMillon said. “Regardless of how angry or upset people may be, resorting to this kind of sickening violence should never happen and simply cannot be tolerated.”
A Twitter account describing itself as representing the Black Lives Matter movement sent the message: “Black Lives Matter advocates dignity, justice and freedom. Not murder.”
With Thursday’s attack, 26 police officers have been shot and killed in the United States so far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That is up 44 percent from the 18 officers slain in the same period in 2015, the group said.
Some of the largest police forces in the United States were on high alert on Friday, following the attacks in Dallas, with departments in New York and Boston ordering officers to patrol in pairs.
PANIC IN THE STREETS
The shots rang out as a protest in Dallas was winding down, sending marchers screaming and running in panic through the city’s streets.
It was the deadliest day for police in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
Shooters, some in elevated positions, used rifles to fire at the officers in what appeared to be a coordinated attack, Brown said.