Updated Friday, July 8, 5:55 a.m. EDT: President Barack Obama blasted the Dallas shooting as a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement."
Speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where the president traveled to attend the 2016 NATO Summit, Obama said, "The federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy," a pool report notes.
"We still don't know all the facts. What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement," Obama said. "Police in Dallas were on duty doing their jobs keeping people safe during peaceful protests. … We are praying for their recovery.
"According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more undoubtedly about their twisted motivations. Let's be clear. There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement," the president added. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done."
The Dallas shooting, which has left five officers dead and several others injured, is now being called the deadliest single attack on U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001, CNN reports, quoting the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
A total of 10 officers were reportedly shot by the alleged snipers as a protest surrounding the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile began to wind down. An 11th officer was shot in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect, CNN notes.
According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, one of the suspects, who had exchanged gunfire with police for hours at a parking garage in downtown Dallas, told negotiators that "the end is coming," saying he was "going to hurt and kill more
" and that bombs were planted all over downtown Dallas, NPR notes.
The organizer of the protest, Next Generation Action Network's Dominique R. Alexander, issued a statement saying that the organization "does not condone violence against any human being, and we condemn anyone who wants to commit violence."
A fifth officer has died after a deadly shooting following a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.
The tragedy took place late Thursday night as snipers took aim at police, initially killing four officers, with a fifth officer just recently dying early Friday morning. Conflicting reports say as few as six and as many as 11 more officers were injured by gunfire, along with one protester.
Not much is publicly known about who perpetrated this attack, but Dallas police said that they have three suspects in custody and are currently negotiating with a fourth who is in a parking structure and has occasionally exchanged gunfire with police.
The New York Times reported that Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown said these individuals “planned to injure and kill as many law-enforcement officers as they could,” adding that some of the officers were "shot in the back."
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers,” said Brown.
The past two days have been marred by the sudden and shocking deaths of black men by police officers caught on video: Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. Protesters had gathered for what had been, according to many who were at the rally, a peaceful protest over the deaths of these two men.
Then violence erupted, as caught in this video:
The protester who was shot and injured was reported to be Shetamia Taylor, who was at the rally with her children. Fox4 interviewed a member of her family, who described what happened.
Before the shooting occurred, protests had been peaceful. CNN reported that police actually planned the protest route.
The front page of the Dallas Morning News captures the drama of Thursday night's events, showing a tearful police officer embracing a woman.
The Root will continue to follow this story as it develops.