Update: One suspect has been killed by a police bomb squad robot after police attempted to negotiate with him, which ultimately failed. The 25-year-old deceased suspect is Micah Xavier Johnson of Mequite, Texas. Police also now believe Johnson was the only suspect invovled in the shooting, although they are continuing to investigate.
According to CNN, five Dallas police officers are dead following a sniper attack in downtown Dallas on Thursday night, July 7. Twelve total officers were shot, and two civilians injured. This is the largest attack on law enforcement since 9/11.
The shootings occured during a protest rally, which had been organized as a peaceful way to publicly demand answers for recent killings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Horrifying videos of the Sterling and Castile fatalities had recently been shared all across social media.
The CNN report indicates that Dallas police do not yet know just how many suspects were involved in the shootings during the downtown protest, but three suspects are in custody, and 1 other is dead after an hours-long standoff in a parking garage. That suspect told negotiators during the standoff that "more officers are going to get hurt, and that bombs are planted all over downtown Dallas." But police, using K-9 units, found no such explosive devices during primary and secondary sweeps of the area. There are indications, however, that the suspects were well supplied with ammunition and could have planned such an attack well in advance, waiting on the right time and opportunity.
President Obama, traveling in Poland, said this was, "A vicious, calculated and despicable act on law enforcement. I believe I speak for every American when I say we are horrified."
We will continue to follow this developing story. Check back for updates and commentary, and join with us in prayer for healing in Dallas, the communities in Louisiana and Minnesota, and our country.
Publication date: July 8, 2016