Five Dallas police officers have been reported dead following a shooting by snipers during protests against police violence in Dallas on Thursday night.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown released a statement via a city spokeswoman saying: “it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally”.
The initial statement said three officers have died, two are in surgery and three critically injured. The report was later updated to say five Dallas police officers had died, and several others injured.
Three suspects are in custody after exchanging gunfire with the police. One of the suspects was killed during a gun battle with the police.
The shooting ensued around 20:45 local time as protesters were marching against the fatal shootings of two black American men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Hundreds of people gathered to protest the fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St Paul, Minnesota and the police were there to protect their right to do so.
A live TV footage showed protesters marching along a street in downtown, chanting “hands up don’t shoot”. Suddenly, the crowd scattered in different directions in search for cover when the shooting started.
Police and other security personnel also took cover behind cars outside a parking garage. Officers were seen with their guns drawn running into the parking garage in search of the shooters.
It was a chaotic scene with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles combing the street corners.
Cameras showed the search for the snipers stretching throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments.
Meanwhile, though the attack appeared to be a planned one, it is not yet confirmed if it is connected to the protests and the recent police shootings.