09242017Headline:

5 police officers shot dead in Dallas sniper attacks

Five police officers have been killed and six others have been injured after two snipers opened fire during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas, police say. One suspect is also dead after an hours-long standoff with police.

The attack in downtown Dallas happened just before 9 p.m. CT towards the end of a Black Lives Matter rally during which about 800 people protested the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

The protests were peaceful until the shooting began, with at least two shooters in elevated positions near the rally specifically targeting the more than 100 police officers who were assigned to protect the rally. The gunfire prompted hundreds of people to flee in panic.

“At 8:58, our worst nightmare happened,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown confirmed at a press conference that a total of 12 people were shot, including 11 police officers and 1 civilian. Of those, at least five police officers were killed and several others remain in hospital but are expected to live. Some of the officers were shot in the back, he said.

“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,” Chief Brown said.

After the shootings, police cornered two suspects on the second floor of the parking garage at El Centro College in downtown Dallas. Police were negotiating with them until just after 11 p.m. CT, when gunfire erupted at the garage and one suspect - a woman - was taken into custody.

The standoff continued for several more hours until just after 2 a.m. CT, when reports indicated that the second suspect shot and killed himself. Police did not immediately provide further information, but units left the scene and began to secure the wider area.

Two additional suspects were arrested after their vehicle was pulled over near the downtown area.

At one point, Dallas Police also released a photograph of an armed man described as a person of interest, but he later turned himself in to police without incident. The man was later released and was no longer considered to be a suspect.

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