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  In Dallas, gunfire and chaos seemed to last forever

In Dallas, gunfire and chaos seemed to last forever

AFP
Published : Jul 9, 2016, 7:15 am IST
Updated : Jul 9, 2016, 7:15 am IST

A Dallas area police officer is comforted at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance on Thursday night. (Photo: AP)

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 police.jpg

A Dallas area police officer is comforted at the Baylor University Hospital emergency room entrance on Thursday night. (Photo: AP)

The mayhem of booming gunfire and terrified people scurrying for safety in the heart of Dallas seemed to last forever.

Thursday night’s sniper attack against the police began at twilight as people of all races and ages, including parents pushing baby strollers, rallied peacefully over two fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

In a matter of seconds, civilians and police officers — some in full black uniforms or other in summer shorts uniforms — were cowering behind cars and pinning themselves against buildings as blasts of high-power gunfire rang out.

“I didn’t see anybody else get shot, just the cops. I saw cops getting shot, right there in plain sight,” Cortney Washington told the NBC affiliate for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “While we was running, lthey just kept shooting,” Washington said. “We didn’t know where it was coming from.”

The rapid fire was deafening as shots echoed off office buildings in the downtown area of the big Texas city, sadly famous for being the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

“Somebody is really armed to the teeth,” a man is heard saying amid the loud staccato of Thursday’s gunfire in one amateur video posted online. “This is a person with a big magazine.”

The unidentified person spoke as the camera focused on a downtown intersection and parking lot. A police car with its siren blaring races by. When all of this was over, five officers had been shot dead and seven wounded, as were two civilians.

A suspect holed up in a parking garage at El Centro College was killed by an explosive device driven in by a police robot after the police had negotiated with him for hours.

During those negotiations, the suspect said he was upset about the police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people, specifically white cops, the police said.

Earlier, as night fell and the sky turned a dark blue lit up by the flashing red flashes of patrol cars, the maelstrom dragged on.

Another horrific video posted online shows a gunman dart out from behind a pillar at the foot of a building, sneak up behind a police officer and shoot him in the back.

Location: United States, Texas, Dallas