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8 Jul, 2016 02:18

Snipers shoot 12 officers, killing 5, during demonstrations in Dallas

Eleven police officers have been shot, leaving five dead and two more in surgery, according to the Dallas police chief, KDFW reports. A civilian was also injured in the shooting by four suspects, which broke out during peaceful protests in downtown Dallas.

Follow RT's Live Updates: Dallas protest turns violent, 5 officers dead

In a press conference earlier Thursday evening, Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown added that three of the officers are reported to be in a critical condition. Chief Brown also said the suspects threatened to plant bombs in the downtown Dallas area. He added that one suspect had been cornered, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and FBI searched for explosives.

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) tweeted a photo of a man initially named as a suspect, but is now a 'person of interest'. The department reported that he has since turned himself in, and a separate suspect is in custody. There was also a suspicious device near where the second man was detained, and it is being "secured by the DPD bomb squad," according to the police.

The man pictured is also seen in a video recorded as shots are being fired, though he is not seen opening fire or brandishing his gun. Texas is an open-carry state, so it is not out of the ordinary to see lawful carrying of weapons at demonstrations. 

Police made other arrests during their search for the shooting suspects.

DART, the Dallas transit authority, has confirmed one of its officers has died and that there are three others with non-life-threatening injuries.

"There are three to six officers who are gravely wounded, according to my sources inside the Dallas Police Department," KDFW's Shaun Robb reported, adding, "This is going to be an international story."

One was a Dallas police officer and the second officer was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer, KDFW is reporting.

KDFW also reports that police are in negotiations with a second suspect.

Local Fox-affiliate KTVT relayed police commands that the suspect was armed with a rifle in a nearby alley, after previously, the station had reported that at least one suspect was down, following SWAT officers with shields storming a parking garage.

Some of the video footage from protesters is disturbing.

The incident happened during the protests over the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota in which two African-American men died.

Reports are coming in that more gunshot fire has been heard in Dallas near the area of El Centro College.

There is an ongoing active shooter situation, following reports of at least one Dallas police officer shot seemingly out of nowhere during the otherwise peaceful rally. The suspect is armed with a rifle, an officer told WFAA.