‘He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers’ – Sniper shoots 12 officers, killing 5

Twelve police officers were shot and five killed while working at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas Thursday night, by a gunman who said he carried out the attack to revenge the two police-related deaths of black men this week.

Shots broke out at the previously peaceful protest just before 9pm, and witness video shows marchers screaming and fleeing from the scene in horror.

Around 11pm, cops cornered a suspect at nearby El Centro College and attempted to negotiate with him, but four hours later the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect.

Before he died however, the gunman told the hostage negotiator his motivations behind the attack.

‘The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings of black suspects. He said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,’ Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed at a 7:30am press conference.

Authorities have not yet identified the identity of the shooter, but he allegedly claimed that he acted alone. This counters previous reports that estimated that as many as four shooters were involved in the massacre. Three other suspects were taken into custody at the scene Thursday night, but Chief Brown refused to go into detail about these arrests.

One of the cops killed in the attack has been identified as 43-year-old DART Officer Brent Thompson. A second slain officer was named by his family as young father Patrick Zamarripa.

The shooter or shooters opened fire from ‘elevated positions’, picking off officers ‘ambush style’ as they manned a protest over the deaths of two black men – Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana this week, police chief David Brown said. ‘Some officers were shot in the back,’ he added.

One of the suspects was killed in a stand-off with police, and before he died he told a hostage negotiator that he acted alone, was upset about the recent police-shootings of two black men this week, and wanted to kill white police officers.

A gruesome video shows a heroic policeman taking on one of the gunmen, but being gunned down and shot again execution-style from point-blank range.

Three of the gunmen are in custody. A fourth man, who was engaged in a shootout with police from a parking garage at El Centro College, died from in injuries. Early reports suggested that he shot himself in the head, but Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings later said that they are still trying to figure out exactly how he died.

‘We don’t exactly know the last moments of his death but explosives did blast him out,’ Rawlings said.

Before that man died, he told officers that bombs had been planted across Dallas and that ‘the end is coming’.However, police have now confirmed no explosives were found in two sweeps. The ‘massive’ crime scene is now being processed, Dallas Police Major Max Geron said.

A female, who was in the same area as the gunman who died, is also custody, however Brown said: ‘We still don’t have complete comfort that we have all the suspects.’

Police said two people are being questioned after they were spotted speeding away from the scene of the shooting in a black Mercedes. An officer saw one of the pair hurriedly putting a camouflage bag in the back of the car before driving off ‘at a high rate of speed’.

In a statement from Warsaw, Poland where he is at a NATO summit, President Obama expressed his ‘deepest condolences to the American people’, and warned that he still didn’t know all of the facts of the massacre.

‘They were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests… they were targeted and nearly a dozen officers were shot,’ President Obama said.

‘I believe I speak for every American, when I say we are horrified and stand united with the police department in Dallas.’

President Obama confirmed the FBI is working with Dallas police and said ‘anyone involved will be made accountable… justice will be done.’

He urged the nation to remember to ‘express our profound gratitude for our men and women in blue’.

The shootings have sparked more racial tension in America and mark the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks, when 72 officers died in the line of duty. Americans in major cities nationwide took to the streets on Thursday night to demand answers over the killings of Castile and Sterling.

The DART officer killed, Brent Thompson, joined the department in 2009 and is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1989 when DART (the Dallas public transportation network) formed a police department.

The 'coordinated' shooters opened fire from 'elevated positions', picking off officers 'ambush style'. Pictured, a police officer lies stricken next to cop cars

It is  the deadliest day for US law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks. Officers have shown respect to their slain colleagues with a salute outside Parkland Hospital

President Barack Obama called it ‘vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement’ in a statement made from Warsaw, Poland

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer receives comfort at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance after the shooting

Tragic: Five cops have died, and three were earlier in a critical condition. Pictured an officer attends to an injured person

The shooting started at 8.45pm as hundreds of protesters marched through Dallas demanding justice for two black men shot dead by police earlier this week 

Dallas Police officers shield bystanders after shots were fired in the middle of what had been a peaceful rally in the Texas city

A police officer runs for cover after shots were fired during a protest over the deaths of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota

High alert: Dallas Police officers were also seen stopping a motorist at gunpoint from leaving downtown Dallas in a white SUV

Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, said: ‘As you can imagine, our hearts are broken.’

‘This is something that touches every part of our organization. We have received countless expressions of support and sympathy from around the world through the evening. We are grateful for every message. Thank you.’

It is not known if the shooters were protesters, however they appear to have been militarily trained with long guns. In an interview with the Today show Friday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said it appeared their motive was to target police officers.

‘Our worst nightmare has happened,’ Rawlings said in another statement. ‘It is a heartbreaking moment for the city of Dallas.’

A second police officer killed in the attack has been identified by his family as Patrick Zamarripa.

A man who claims to be his stepbrother, Dylan Martinez, said on Twitter that Zamarripa was ‘one of the young Dallas police officers killed this evening’.

‘No father should have to bury his son. You are a hero, Patrick. Love you man,’ he said.

On Zamarripa’s social media profile there are pictures of his young daughter and he describes himself as ‘addicted to the thrill of this job’.

‘I own the night. I love my Country, Texas, Family, God, Friends, and Sports! Don’t Tread on Me! ‘Merica,’ his bio says.

Mayor Rawlings said that in total, 12 police officers were shot Thursday, in addition to two bystanders.

Five of the police officers were killed, but only two have yet to be identified. All five of the casualties were male cops.

The names  of three of the injured DART officers have been revealed asOmar Cannon, 44; Misty McBride, 32; and Jesus Retana, 39. They are expected to recover from their injuries.

Officials said that two of the injured officers – including McBride, a mother who was shot in the shoulder – were female.

One of the two injured bystanders was also a woman, mother-of-four Shetamia Taylor, was shot in the calf as she shielded her children, hiding her 15-year-old son under a car.

The rest of the killed and injured have yet to be identified.

A member of the public, mother-of-four Shetamia Taylor, was shot in the calf as she shielded her children, hiding her 15-year-old son under a car

A member of the public, mother-of-four Shetamia Taylor, was shot in the calf as she shielded her children, hiding her 15-year-old son under a car

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