Thursday, 7 July 2016

Four Officers Killed, 7 Injured in Dallas Shooting Protest

At least two snipers opened fire on police officers in the U.S. city of Dallas on Thursday night, killing four officers and injuring seven others during protests over two fatal police shootings of black men this week.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown told a news conference the snipers fired “ambush style” upon the officers. Mayor Mike Rawlings said one member of the public was wounded in the gunfire.

Police later said in a statement that a suspect was is in custody and a “person of interest” had surrendered. They said a suspicious package was being secured by a bomb squad.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

The protests in Dallas were among several across the country that were held after a Minnesota officer on Wednesday fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child in a St. Paul suburb. The aftermath of the shooting was livestreamed in a widely shared Facebook video. A day earlier, Alton Sterling was shot in Louisiana after being pinned to the pavement by two white officers. That, too, was captured on a cellphone video.

Video footage from the scene showed that protesters were marching along a street in downtown, about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

Brown said that it appeared the shooters “planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer “whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time.”

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration restricted airspace over Dallas after the deadly shooting.

“No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM,” the FAA Notice to Airmen read.

“Only relief aircraft operations under direction of Dallas Police Department are authorized in the airspace.”

The restrictions, which are due to last from 0335 to 1130 GMT cover a radius of 2.5 nautical miles.

Facebook also activated a “safety check” for users after the shootings.

Four Officers Killed, 7 Injured in Dallas Shooting Protest

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