Dallas’ police chief told reporters after midnight local time that they have three people in custody and were in a bullet-ridden standoff with another — but the shooters have given no indication of their motive for ambushing police officers at a downtown march.
Chief David Brown said the death toll was up to four officers after one more died at the hospital.
After the press conference, one more of the wounded officers died. Six officers were wounded.
Brown said police were in negotiations with a suspect on the second floor of the El Centro College parking garage — but the suspect had been firing at officers for the past 45 minutes.
The chief said the suspect was “exchanging gunfire with us and not being very cooperative in negotiations.”
Brown said the suspect “told negotiators the end is coming,” that gunmen were “going to hurt and kill more of us” and “that there are bombs all over the place in the garage.”
Police have in custody one female found in the area of the El Centro garage. Officers also followed and apprehended a Mercedes with two suspects who had camouflage bags.
All of those in custody and being interviewed were not being cooperative, Brown said.
“We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” he added, stressing that police would be searching downtown for an undetermined period of time.
Pressed on what the motive of the shooters was or whether they were associated with any group, he replied, “At this point we don’t have a lot of cooperation to find those answers.”
Brown added police aren’t getting answers on “motivation” or “who they are.”
The “assumption” of police, he said, is that all four suspects were working together, triangulating with rifles along elevated areas along the route of the march.
“We’re leaving every motive on the table of how this happened and why it happened,” Brown said, adding they’re waiting for a suspect to “break” under interrogation.
The Thursday evening march, scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., was announced Wednesday by the Next Generation Action Network, a local faith-based civil-rights group.
Brown said it’s “yet to be determined” whether the shooters mingled with the rally or were at their posts the whole time.
“To say our officers put their lives on the line is no hyperbole,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, urging people to “come together, lock arms and heal the wounds that we all feel from time to time.”
One video shot by an onlooker in a building across the street showed a gunman pulling up in a black SUV and exchanging fire with police while sheltering behind a pole. As the emergency blinkers flickered on the SUV, a Dallas cop approached the suspect and fired, only to hit body armor. The suspect killed the officer, then fled the area, cameraman Ismael Dejesus told CNN.
“Our police officers selflessly put their lives on the line every single day to vigilantly protect our families and communities and it is devastating to think that someone deliberately targeted our law enforcement,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), whose district is in the Dallas suburbs.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) encouraged anyone with information about the suspects to call the Dallas Police Department at (214) 671-3482.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to these officers and their families, and to those who have been injured. My office is in close contact with the local authorities on the ground and we will be offering to provide whatever support we can to help in assisting the victims and bringing the perpetrators to justice,” Cruz said.
“May God protect our fallen heroes and bring peace upon the city of Dallas.”
UPDATE 4 a.m. EST: The suspect holed up in the parking garage is dead and two “suspicious devices” have been found, per NBC5 in Dallas-Forth Worth.