Shots rang out from at least two snipers during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas at around 8:45 p.m. local time (9:45 p.m. Eastern) Thursday. At least three Dallas police officers and one DART (Dallas Area Mass Transit) officers are dead and seven more officers are being treated for their wounds as of 00:30 local on Friday [Update 3 a.m. Eastern Friday -- a fifth police officer has died - JWS]. Witnesses described the gunfire as coming from above and individuals gathered for the protest took cover under building awnings or behind vehicles as officers searched for the shooters.
One black male was walking with a legally open carried AR15 semi-automatic rifle when the shots rang out; Dallas Police originally tweeted out his picture wearing a camouflage shirt and black shorts as a suspect, but the public on Twitter quickly urged DPD to retract the tweet as it became clear from multiple smartphone videos that the man was not involved in the shootings. That man was described in a DPD release as a 'person of interest' in custody. According to Correy Hughes, a co-organizer of the Black Lives Matter protest, the man was his brother Mark Hughes who immediately surrendered his AR15 to police after the shots rang out. [Update: Later Mark Hughes spoke to local reporters on camera expressing his disbelief at what happened]
DPD sent out this interesting tweet about an individual carrying a camouflaged bag leaving the scene in a black Mercedes which 'sped off at a high rate of speed'. During a brief press conference at 12:35 Central/1:35 Eastern DPD announced that both suspects in the black Mercedes had been taken into custody after being pulled over in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas southwest of downtown. They also said they were in negotiations with a single suspect who had shot at police and holed up in the El Centro college parking garage. This suspect claimed to have planted bombs around the area and declared that "the end is coming".
Dallas Police Chief David Brown added that he is not certain there aren't more suspects at large and the area is being treated as an active crime scene.
Below is a tweet that emerged over an hour before the press conference which appears to show a suspect in paramilitary gear with a rifle shooting a police officer at point blank range, and then fleeing as police bullets strike a building pillar near him:
The same 'trained' paramilitary shooting a Dallas policeman from a different angle
Is this terrorist attack on the police a continuation of the 'summer of chaos'? We don't know yet, but the circumstances, timing and m.o. of the attack will be heavily scrutinized as the mainstream and alternative media begin to digest what has happened.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the good people of Dallas tonight. RogueMoney listeners and readers who subscribe to the John B. Wells Caravan to Midnight program or who tune in locally Saturday nights from 10 to midnight on 570 AM KLIF in Dallas/Fort Worth will likely be keen to hear what Mr. Wells will learn from local law enforcement/eyewitness sources in the coming days.
Please post any relevant information you have in the comment thread below as this story continues to develop this weekend. - JWS
UPDATE 1 7 a.m. Eastern Friday, July 8, 2016
If this was an Islamic State attack, which seems doubtful at this point, these were not your run of the mill self-radicalized jihadis with no tactical skills like the San Bernadino shooting couple or the alleged lone gunman who carried out the Orlando gay night club massacre, who went out and bought some semi-auto 'assault weapons' legally. One should of course, particularly given the short notice of the Black Lives Matter protest which Dallas Police said the attackers knew the route of, refrain from imputing too much sophistication to the attackers either.
Yet the video that has emerged above clearly shows a man moving with awareness while wearing paramilitary gear and with some tactical training before gunning down a cop -- though body armor isn't necessarily visible to us from the short clip. Here's what DPD is saying at this hour, confirming that the last of what it's now calling four suspects at large died in a nearby parking garage while three others are in custody: