** This was clearly a premeditated attack. See later updates near the bottom.**
*UPDATE 3* — 10:20 PM CDT: (See earlier updates below) — one police officer in Dallas confirmed dead in shootings at BLM protest. As many as 6 others injured. 3 said to have “non-life-threatening” injuries.
*UPDATE 4*: 10:34 PM — Official report being made according to Fox in Dallas. 2 snipers, shot 10 police officers from elevated positions; 3 officers dead. 2 in surgery, 3 in critical condition. (10:50 PM) Now hearing 4 officers dead: 1 DART transit officer, 3 DPD officers. (Source: Dallas Morning News) It’s not clear right now which forces the other injured officers belonged to.
*UPDATE 5*: 11:00 PM CDT — The KIA count is now said to have been incorrect earlier. I’m going to let it stand for now and just give you the update from the police chief on the hour: 3 KIA, 2 from DPD, 1 DART. A CIVILIAN NOW REPORTED TO HAVE ALSO BEEN INJURED. It sounds like 11 total people have been killed or injured, including the civilian. 3 police officers still in surgery. Will correct the KIA count when confirmed. — Latest on KIA count (11:15 PM): 4 confirmed dead. 3 DPD, 1 DART.
1:50 AM CDT — Very last lick for the night: the KIA count now stands at 5. It appears, although not absolutely confirmed, that the 5th fatality is a DPD officer, bringing the total to 4 DPD officers and 1 DART officer killed.
(Additional updates, #6 and following, down at the bottom.)
This is a breaking report from about 15 minutes ago (as I type; it will be later when this goes to post. It’s about 9:10 PM in Dallas right now). [Note: this was originally posted at 9:30 PM CDT/10:30 EDT.]
The protest is being held in Dallas, Texas. The most recent pretexts for the event are the shootings at a St. Paul, Minnesota traffic stop of Philando Castile, and during the Baton Rouge, Louisiana arrest of Alton Sterling.
Fox News said about 5 minutes ago that the local Fox affiliate had confirmed two officers were shot at the protest. The police response is focused on a parking garage at the corner of Lamar and Commerce in Dallas.
A reporter on air as I prepare this post says he’s been told he and his crew are “safe” to remain where they are. Footage from less than half an hour ago shows dozens of terrified people running from the area where the shots were fired.
Fox 4 in Dallas caught the sound of the shots in a video posted on social media.
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) July 8, 2016
A news helicopter caught footage of the fleeing crowd.
— Jason Lamarche 👽 (@Lamarche) July 8, 2016
It isn’t known whether the the shooter(s) had any connection with the protest, which appears from earlier coverage to have been peaceful and orderly. A witness just interviewed by the Fox 4 reporter said it sounded like the shooter(s) had an “assault rifle.” The condition of the officers is not yet known.
*UPDATE* : Video posted on Twitter shows a direct view of the police response at the site of the shooting.
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) July 8, 2016
Based on FNC reporting from the last 60 seconds, one shooter has been seen “in an alley” at some time apparently in the last half hour. It’s unclear if that means he has left the parking garage, or if he ran into it from the alley when the shooting started.
* UPDATE 2*: 10:00 PM CDT, Dallas news sources now report as many as 3-6 police officers hit by gunfire. I’m seeing reports (from Shep Smith as well as via Twitter) that police are now “negotiating with a second shooter.” The first gunman “has been neutralized.” One tweet says a suspect is “wearing body armor.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 8, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: THE SUSPECT IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS, TEXAS IS WEARING BODY ARMOR.
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) July 8, 2016
This doesn’t sound like something unplanned or incidental. But at this point, we still don’t know if it was actually connected with the BLM protest. It could be something unrelated.
This next guy puts the gunfire exchange at around 200 shots, says it went on for at least 3 minutes. Again, this does not sound like a stray, unpremeditated happening. (Language.)
Holy fuck pic.twitter.com/tB9V4beKav
— ice t-rex (@WhoAteMyPizza) July 8, 2016
A gun being pulled at the BLM protest in Portland, Oregon seems to have been a guy fearing for his life in the middle of the crowd.
I just witnessed This man in the middle pull a gun on the crowd. Everyone ran screaming. Police no where in sight pic.twitter.com/L86zcLob5F
— Andrew Dymburt (@DymburtNews) July 8, 2016
Gunman did not fire. aggressively taken down by police. Frmr mayor candidate Jesse Sponberg talked gunman down. Convinced him 2 put it away
— Andrew Dymburt (@DymburtNews) July 8, 2016
Portland police have everything under control, protests continuing aggressively but peacefully. Nabbed gunman in under two mins
— Andrew Dymburt (@DymburtNews) July 8, 2016
The Portland police reportedly put that one to bed quickly.
10:40 PM CDT. Sorry this is a bit disjointed. The important lead material is featured at the top (the officers KIA and injured, the nature of the tactical situation). As discussed above, this clearly was not an incidental situation, but something planned. The many ordinary people who come out to protest with BLM are not at fault for this; it looks like radical insurrectionists are trying to leverage BLM protests to foment destabilizing unrest and rip America apart.
Don’t let them succeed. I want to see Texas get ahead of this immediately.
*UPDATE 6*: 11:10PM CDT — Just seeing reports that DPD thinks the suspects may have made a bomb threat.
Dallas PD Chief says they believe suspects made bomb threat.
— Laura Walker 🍸 (@LauraWalkerKC) July 8, 2016
We knew this remained a live situation, with the second shooter still not reported as “neutralized.” It may be more live than we imagined.
*UPDATE 7*: 11:20PM CDT — Dallas police have put out an image of a person of interest.
I note that although their suspicion is understandable, given that he was apparently at the protest and carrying a rifle, I’m skeptical that this guy was involved in a premeditated sniper attack. For one thing, he doesn’t have body armor. He’s wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and his demeanor is pretty carefree for a guy who’s planning to shoot cops in a few minutes. Of course he should be checked out. Maybe he is one of the shooters. But I imagine he wasn’t the only one carrying at the protest. It’s Texas.
The tweet above has been deleted, but I’ve got a screen cap of it. This is the guy who’s been identified as a person of interest.
*UPDATE 8*: 11:35PM CDT — suspicious package being handled near location of second shooter (everything is still happening right around the parking garage at Lamar and Commerce). The person of interest in the camo T-shirt has turned himself in. (I frankly suspect he had nothing to do with the shooting.)
Note: All over Twitter that the person of interest pictured above was walking around among the protesters when the shooting started. I continue to think it’s likely he’ll be cleared by the police.
FNC just reporting that U.S. Marshals have arrived on scene.
*UPDATE 9*: 11:55PM CDT — From FNC: Both sniper suspects in custody. Although, I note, not all news sources have TWO suspects in custody. Some are still saying one is in custody. Not clear what that means, given that police say “danger to the public has passed.” The coverage on different stations shows that the police are no longer hunkered down as if expecting renewed gunfire from the parking garage.
No specific word on the suspicious package mentioned earlier, but presumably it doesn’t represent a threat at this point.
*UPDATE 10*: 12:10PM CDT — The suspicious device is being handled by police explosives experts, according to FNC. Apparently they do feel it does not represent a threat to the public.
As I sign off tonight, I’ll just post a tweet with an image retweeted from the Dallas Police Department account. The police posed with a BLM protester during the march Thursday evening. This horrific attack doesn’t represent what the people of Dallas are about, regardless of race or ethnicity. It’s not an indictment of the police, of black people, of white people, or of Texas gun laws. It’s a criminal act by thugs who want to tear this country apart.
Dallas Police Department live tweeted protest before shooting https://t.co/yRZw9a9XM4
— Steven Carraher (@StevenCarraher) July 8, 2016
I look to Governor Abbott down in Austin to protect Dallas from an invasion of DOJ locusts. The people interviewed on the streets tonight, mostly protesters, have all been horrified, condemning this attack and insisting that it’s not anything they could support or justify. Many of them praised the police for how they were handling the protest march. As fellow citizens, we must not let the media, the radical-left political machine, or the Obama administration turn us against each other.
*UPDATE 11*: 1:15AM CDT, 8 Jul — Unquestionably a PREMEDITATED ATTACK. OK, OK, one more update, because I just can’t help myself. Very interesting updates in the last 15 minutes, including apparent confirmation of an earlier report that there was a female involved in the sniper attack (it’s not clear what her role was; she was arrested “near the location of the shooting” at the parking garage). There’s a report that one person was apprehended in nearby Oak Cliff in a car with camouflage gear and is being questioned in connection with the attack.
Both of these updates suggest quite a complex operation — one that couldn’t have been planned just in the last 24 hours. The shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana happened too recently for an attack of this scope to have been planned in response to them. The profile is more of an attack that has been planned for some time, and for which the perpetrators were waiting for the right opportunity. That makes speculation about highly organized radicals, including ISIS, quite reasonable. (ISIS has made multiple threats against American police and other law enforcement agencies.)
As of this moment, meanwhile, the second shooter is still NOT neutralized. The police are still in a standoff with the individual at the parking garage, continuing to exchange gunfire. So this is one well-armed perp. The DPD chief just briefed that the second shooter has said there are bombs planted all over the downtown area, and that the “end is near.” The news media were reporting an hour ago that the police were in a much more relaxed posture — I devoutly hope that they didn’t relax too early. A year ago, the odds would have been that the shooter was just talking big, and there wasn’t much left to mop up in the situation. In July 2016, that’s no longer the best bet.
*UPDATE 12*: 1:35AM CDT — very last update, I promise.
Small explosions heard from the #Dallas garage where the suspect is holed up – reports officers in process of ending the standoff
— Zora Suleman (@ZoraSuleman) July 8, 2016
This just broke, not sure what it will mean but it sounds like the police are going tactical to end the standoff. It’s not clear at this point how seriously they are taking the bomb threats, but they do seem to have other suspects in custody to question in that regard. (The first shooter; the female — assuming she’s not the same person as the first shooter; and the person or persons — some agencies says it’s 2 — who were picked up in the car with the camo gear.)