As demonstrators took to the streets of Dallas tonight to protest the police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana this week, snipers opened fire on officers injuring at least seven and killing four, reports NBC News Dallas-Fort Worth. Three of the deceased were Dallas police officers, and one was a DART transit officer. Three of the other seven police officers hit by gunfire are in serious condition, and one protestor was also injured.
“Our worst nightmare happened,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, reports BuzzFeed News. “It is a heartbreaking moment for this city.”
The Dallas Police Department is tweeting updates throughout the ordeal, and reports that two snipers in “elevated positions” fired upon the officers working the rally. The march comes in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Prior to the sniper fire, People magazine reports that the demonstration was peaceful. The Dallas PD also circulated images on social media of a person of interest, who eventually turned himself in. This person’s name has not yet been released, and it is unclear if he’s responsible for any of the carnage tonight. The New York Times reports that another suspect is in custody after a shootout with police. A suspicious package was also uncovered, and there are concerns over a planted bomb in the area.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers,” said Dallas police chief David O. Brown, reports The Times, who also shared that some of the officers were shot in the back.
This event is still unfolding, and we will keep you updated on this story.