4 officers now dead in sniper attack during protest in downtown Dallas

  • Agencies, Dallas
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2016 10:06 IST
Demonstrators are arrested by the NYPD after they march through the city and call for justice for Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile in the middle of Times Square July 7, 2016 in New York. (AFP)

Dallas police say four officers have died after at least two snipers opened fire during protests downtown. Seven other officers were wounded.

Police Chief David O Brown said police have a suspect cornered in a garage and are negotiating with that person. He says the snipers fired upon officers “ambush style.”

Brown had said three officers were killed, and police issued a tweet later saying a fourth officer had died.

Brown said snipers shot from “elevated positions” during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 pm. Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

Earlier, photos posted on Twitter by the Dallas Police Department showed what appeared to be several hundred people assembled on the steps of a downtown museum, many holding signs as they listened to speakers address the crowd.

In other photos and footage posted on Twitter, a crowd could be seen marching through downtown streets. Police said the crowd, at one point, chanted “Black Lives Matter.”

The protests in Dallas came as demonstrations were being held in several US cities over the most recent fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

The police department did not respond to requests for comment and did not update their Twitter account since media reports of gunfire.

On Wednesday, a Minnesota officer 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 purportedly 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.

The gunshots in Dallas came amid protests nationwide over the recent police shootings.

In midtown Manhattan, protesters first gathered in Union Square Park where they chanted “The people united, never be divided!” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!”

A group of protesters then left the park and began marching up Fifth Avenue blocking traffic during the height of rush hour as police scrambled to keep up. Another group headed through Herald Square and Times Square where several arrests were reported.

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