Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
The shootings took place around El Centro College in the heart of downtown Dallas.
At 8:58 p.m. Thursday evening, snipers shot 12 police officers in downtown Dallas, throwing a peaceful protest against the police-shooting deaths of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, into extreme chaos. Of the officers hit, five—including one DART officer—have died.
The exact details of the event are still emerging. What we do know is that the shots came from elevated positions along the protest route. A witness recorded video of officers being shot at the intersection of Lamar and Main Streets.The New York Times reports that law enforcement faced more gunfire toward Elm Street. As the night went on, officers became embroiled in tense negotiations with one of the alleged shooters, who was in the second-floor garage of El Centro, a community college.
“He’s told us that the end is coming, and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us—meaning law enforcement. And there are bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at a press conference Thursday night. That man was later killed by a “bomb robot” deployed by the police, which ended the standoff.
“The suspect stated that he was not affiliated with any groups, and he stated that he did this alone,” Brown emphasized. According to the L.A.Times, the deceased suspect has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Dallas resident.
A woman, who was found in the El Centro garage area, was among at least three suspects taken into police custody; their identities have not yet been disclosed. Where exactly the shots fired from on the protest route is not yet known:
@Tanvim other than the cell phone video that gives indication already in the public domain, it's too soon to say.— Maj. Max Geron (@MaxDPD) July 8, 2016
On Friday morning, authorities announced that the diamond-shaped area flanked by Ross Avenue and Jackson, Griffin, and Houston Streets would be off-limits to civilians, possibly for the entire day. The DART station within the roped-off area is also closed while police investigate. CityLab combined information about the city’s designated crime zone and news reports about the incident to create the following map:
Forty police cars will be patrolling this section in the heart of the city’s downtown business district, near major landmarks such as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza and the Dallas Holocaust Museum. Hundreds of people filter into this part of town for work every day.
Primary and secondary sweeps for explosives are complete and no explosives found. #dallasshooting— Maj. Max Geron (@MaxDPD) July 8, 2016
Crime Scene detectives will now be able to start processing the massive crime scene. #dallasshooting— Maj. Max Geron (@MaxDPD) July 8, 2016
Expect significant disruption in the downtown core. Anticipate many streets will remain closed into the evening. #dallasshooting— Maj. Max Geron (@MaxDPD) July 8, 2016