What started as a peaceful protest in Dallas, TX last night turned deadly when snipers taking ambush positions from rooftops fired on police, killing five officers and wounding six more.
“It is a heartbreaking morning, to lose these … officers that proudly served our citizens,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in a press conference. “To say our police officers put their lives on the line every day is no hyperbole, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a reality. We as a city, we as a country must come together, lock arms, and heal the wounds that we all feel from time to time.
“Words matter. Leadership matters at this time.”
With the reputation as a leader in building community relations, the Dallas Police Department had been live tweeting the protest, walking alongside participants, and generally appeared to be in solidarity with marchers. Video taken shows protesters and police taking cover when the shooting began. In the hours that followed leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement condemned the shooting, the deadliest for law enforcement in the U.S. since 9/11.
As earlier in the day Georgia Baptists had voiced outrage over the killings of two black men, the tone overnight and this morning became one of concern, prayer, and yearning for peace.
Speaking while on a NATO summit meeting in Warsaw, Poland, President Barack Obama called the Dallas shootings “vicious” and a “calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
“We are horrified over these events and we stand unified with the people and the police department in Dallas,” he added. “There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks. Anyone involved will become accountable and justice will be done,” he said.