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5 Dallas police officers killed, several injured in ambush at Black Lives Matter protest

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer receives comfort at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Police say one rapid-transit officer has been killed and three injured when gunfire erupted during a protest in downtown Dallas over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

A suspect the Dallas Police were pursuing in connection to the ambush style shootings at a Black Lives Matter protest is dead, CNN reported citing a law enforcement source.

A fifth police officer died early Friday morning, following in downtown Dallas on Thursday evening.

Six other people were injured in the attacks, five of whom are police officers.

"It has been a devastating night," Dallas Police wrote in reporting the fifth casualty their department has suffered.

The officers' names started being released in the early hours of Friday morning.

Early Friday morning, Dallas Police said they remained in negotiations with a "not very cooperative" suspect who is involved in the attack.

President Obama offered his condolences to the victims and their families, speaking from an early morning meeting in Warsaw, Poland -- hours after delivering an impassioned statement on the deaths of two black men killed by police over the course of 48 hours.

He described the attacks on police as "vicious, calculated and despicable."

"We are horrified over these events and we stand united with the people the police department in Dallas," Obama said. "Let's be clear, there is no possible justification for these attacks.

"Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us," he continued. "In the meantime, today, our focus today is on the victims and their families. They are heartbroken. The entire city of Dallas is grieving. And we're grieving with them."

Speaking with reporters at about 12:45 a.m. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said that police had been negotiating with with a suspect involved in the shootings for about 45 minutes.

Brown said the suspect continued to exchange gunfire with police.

"[He said] the end is coming and he's going to hurt and kill more of us meaning law enforcement and that there are bombs all over the place," Brown said.

Brown said that it appeared the shooters "planned to injure and kill as many officers as they could."

At least three others were taken into custody in connection with the shooting, however, "we still don't have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects."

The suspect exchanging gunfire with officers is holed up on the second floor of downtown garage. A woman who was near the garage was all brought in for questioning. Two men leaving the scene in a Mercedes were also taken into custody.

"It's still a very tenuous situation," Brown said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was contacted by both the White House and the governor's office. He said he expected the downtown area would remain an active crime scene at least until tomorrow morning.

"I want to add that it is a heartbreaking morning to lose these four officers that proudly served our citizens," Rawlings said. "To say that our police officers put their lives on the line everyday is not hyperbole. It's a reality.
"We must come together and lock arms and heal the wounds we all feel from time to time. Words matter. Leadership matters at this time."


Brown said the four suspects "with rifles ... triangulated in different elevated positions in the downtown area" before taking aim at officers.

"We're not getting the cooperation we'd like," Brown said. "We're leaving every motive on the table."

Three of officers killed were members of the Dallas Police Department. Another officer killed as a member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit police force. None of the officers were identified in the early hours of Friday morning.

Police reported that a suspicious package had been discovered near one of the suspect's location.

The suspicious package is being secured by the Dallas Police Department bomb squad, according to officials.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. local time Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown, about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

Scores of police and security officers were on hand. Police and others hunched behind cars outside a parking garage. Officers with guns drawn were running near and into the parking garage as police searched for the suspects.

(WARNING: Graphic video)

The search for the shooters stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

"Everyone just started running," Devante Odom, 21, told The Dallas Morning News. "We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there."

Carlos Harris, who lives downtown told the newspaper that the shooters "were strategic. It was tap tap pause. Tap tap pause."

Fox 4 News in Dallas posted video to Twitter in which multiple gunshots could be heard.

Witnesses near the shooting reported hearing dozens of rounds fired, according to multiple posts across social media.

A Twitter user identifying himself as "Jon Targaryen" posted another angle of the incident in which many shots can be heard. A person could be heard on the video saying "somebody is really armed to the teeth."

(WARNING: Video contains some adult language.)

(WARNING: Video contains some adult language.)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer "whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time."

"In times like this we must remember and emphasize the importance of uniting as Americans," Abbott said.

It's unclear if the shooting was connected to the protests occurring in the area Thursday.

Demonstrators had gathered earlier in the evening to protest two recent fatal police shootings of black men. Emerging reports suggest the shooting followed a "peaceful" protest.

Lynn Mays was in the area when the shooting starting. He said a police officer saved his life.

"One police officer that was standing there pushed me out of the way because it was coming in our direction," Mays said.

His legs were bloodied by scrapes he sustained when the officer knocked him out of the way.

"The next thing we heard was -- officer down," Mays said.

He said officers ran toward the shooting on the south side of Lamar Street.

"They froze and a shootout began," Mays said. "They were shooting in one direction and the shooter started shooting back. That's where the war began."

Ebony Smith, a life-long Dallas resident, brought her children to the peaceful rally -- hours before tragedy struck.

"I just felt kind of bad because I brought my kids down here," Smith said fighting back tears. "I didn't think they would be in danger. I feel bad for my city.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this."

She described the chaos in the moments following the shooting.

" It sounded like bombs - a billion of them," she said. "There was a lady running with newborn baby. ... The streets just split up."

She said a woman she didn't know pulled her off the street and sheltered the mother of two in her apartment.

A family member says a protester who was shot when snipers opened fire on police at a rally in Dallas was shielding her sons when she was injured.

A sister of 37-year-old Shetamia Taylor says Taylor was at the protests Thursday night with her four sons, ages 12 to 17. Theresa Williams says that when the shooting began, Taylor threw herself over her sons. She was undergoing surgery early Friday after being shot in the right calf.

Police say four police officers were killed and seven injured in the shootings. The shootings happened at a protest over recent fatal police shootings of black men.

Williams says two of Taylor's sons became separated from their mother in the chaotic aftermath. She says they're now stuck behind a police barricade at a hotel near a parking garage where police exchanged gunfire with a suspect

Demonstrations were being held nationwide to protest the recent fatal police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

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.

This is a breaking news story. Refresh for updates.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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