Five police officers were fatally shot and six others wounded Thursday when snipers opened fire in downtown Dallas during a protest over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, police said.
Three possible suspects were in custody, and police were locked for several hours in a standoff with a gunman in a parking garage who had fired at officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said.
The suspect told officials there were “bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown,” and “told our negotiators that the end is coming, and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us,” Brown said.
The standoff ended at about 2:30 a.m., according to Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed, but she would not confirm reports that the gunman was dead. Two hours later, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the suspect in the standoff had died.
According to the mayor, who just spoke this morning, the one suspect was killed with a robot armed with a bomb.
It is also reported that the one, now deceased, suspect claimed that he was working alone, that he wanted to kill white people, he stated he was "angry FOR Black Lives Matter," and that he was not affiliated with any group.
He also made the statement that "The end is coming," and claimed to have planted bombs all over downtown.
We are told the other suspects are not talking.
Currently there is a lot of speculation that the individual was angered by the recent shootings of black men by police officers.
However we literally do not know what this individual's motives were for certain.
If he was angered by the police shootings then his actions completely undermined the effort to draw attention to the shootings and garner public support to do something about them.
By using a sniper rifle to kill these officers, the man has instead simply caused more senseless death.
However that has not stopped some, like Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, from pointing the finger of blame:
Similar words were posted here last night accusing myself and "liberals" of being somehow complicit in this shooting because we talked about the shootings in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis yesterday.10 Cops shot.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
You did this Obama.
You did this liberals.
You did this #BLM.
Time to defend our Cops. Wake up. https://t.co/Zoc3x2xlMk
I have no idea how somebody jumps from demonstrating concern and sympathy for individuals shot for no reason by the police, to condoning the murder of police officers.
Obviously I condemn the shootings in Dallas, and have never encouraged violence against the police. That is a ridiculous and ignorant claim to make.
Just like Congressman Walsh's claim that this is the fault of the President or BLM.
Speaking of the President he had this to say about the shootings this morning:
President Barack Obama has described the Dallas shootings as a "vicious, calculated, despicable attack." He made the comments while speaking to reporters Friday morning in Warsaw, Poland.
He described the killings as a "tremendous tragedy" and as "senseless murders."
Obama said of the suspects, "We will learn more about their twisted motivations. Let's be clear: There is no possible justification" for the attacks.
I will update this post as new information becomes available.
Update: So this is what we know about the one suspect now deceased:
He was a former soldier.
He had no criminal history, and no ties to terrorist groups or the group BLM.
Here is what Police Chief David Brown had to say:
“We tried to negotiate for several hours, negotiations broke down, we had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect,” Brown said. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb-robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is dead a result of detonating the bomb.”
The suspect did not shoot himself, despite reports, Brown said.
“He wanted to kill officers, and he expressed killing white people, he expressed killing white officers,” Brown said. “He expressed anger for Black Lives Matter. None of that makes sense, none of that is a legitimate reason to do harm to anyone, so the rest of it would just be speculating on what his motivations were. We just know what he said to our negotiators.”
Seems to me that the guy had no intention of surviving this encounter.