A tumultuous week came to an ugly head when a sniper shot and killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas. 

Civilians came together, much like they did all over the country, to protest the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two Black men killed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, respectively. But the peaceful demonstration ended when at least one sniper opened fire on the crowd.


The shooting started around 9 pm, according to The Washington Post. Civilians in a nearby apartment complex heard gunfire in the protest area. Trigger warning: The embedded video contains graphic content.

The Dallas Police Department said in a statement that the alleged sniper shot into the crowd from a rooftop close to the protest.

CNN described Johnson as a "25-year-old recluse."

Police say the gunman had no police record and served in the U.S. Army Reserve

A neighbor told CNN that Johnson lived with his mother and "keeps to himself."

The Dallas PD mistakenly identified a protestor with a rifle as a suspect. It is legal to carry in the state of Texas.

The man, identified as Mark Hughes, allegedly tried to give police his rifle when the shootings began. Pictures of him went viral online and he turned himself into the police, according to CBS News.

Police took Hughes into custody and released him around 1 am.

"I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now," Hughes' brother told Dallas' CBS 11. "I'm trying to be strong right now for my family that I know is watching, but I'm crying on the inside, because we simply came to be a voice for those that don't have a voice. And we went from being a voice to being suspects and being villains. And my question is why?"

The police had a standoff negotiation with the alleged shooter, which resulted in the suspect's death.

The Washington Post is reporting that the detained suspect "was upset about the recent police shooting" and "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

He had no affiliation with any group and acted alone. 

Outrage spread across the country when videos of Sterling and Castile's being killed shot went viral on July 6, and July 7.


The Dallas PD released the names of some of the victims, including veteran officer Brent Thompson.

Thompson has been on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) force for 27 years.

"Brent was a great officer," DART authority chief James Spiller told CNN. "He was an outstanding patrol officer as well as a rail officer. We have the highest respect for him."

He'd also married two weeks before the shooting, according to Spiller.

Shetamia Taylor is one of the civilians shot during the protest, according to ABC News. The 37-year-old took a bullet to her right calf while protecting her 15-year-old son. Taylor's sister, Theresa Williams, told  that her sister isn't concerned about her injury.

"She jumped on top to cover him on the ground as she pushed him in between two cars in the curb," Theresa Williams, the victim's sister, told Dallas' ABC affiliate WFAA. "All she could think about was her other three boys — where are they at."

She is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery this morning.

"She's not so much worried about the gunshot wound she has on her leg," Williams said. "We're watching the news in the hospital room, and all she can do is say, 'Lord, be with those families of those police officers.' And that's what she kept repeating."

This is the deadliest attack on officers since the September 11 terrorist attack.

photo: Imgur

Three other DART officers — Omar Cannon, Misty McBride, and Jesus Retana — were injured but expected to make a full recovery, according to ABC News.

"As you can imagine, our hearts are broken," DART said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "This is something that touches every part of our organization. We have received countless expressions of support and sympathy from around the world through the evening. We are grateful for every message. Thank you."

Even though this shooting is deadly, Vox found that violence against police officers is rare. FBI data finds that between 40 and 70 police officers are deliberately killed every year, and most are killed in ambush situations, like the one in Dallas. In 2014, for example, 9.5 officers out of every 100,000 were deliberately killed.

While many are jumping to condemn the Black Lives Matter movement, supporters maintain that the movement is non-violent.

Furthermore, photos show the protest was peaceful before the shooting began. Some photos even show officers posing with protestors.

Also, the Dallas Police Department has developed a great reputation with the community it polices.

The department made a shift from arms training to de-escalation training in 2010. It made a huge difference: Dallas only had 13 excessive force complaints in 2015, compared to the 147 in 2009. 

Police chief David Brown told the The Dallas Morning News he attributes the 30% drop in assaults on officers to this change. 


Politicians are beginning to respond to the shooting. Barack Obama spoke from a NATO conference in Poland about the attack. He said that those responsible will be held accountable.

"There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement," Obama said. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done."

He also spoke out about the police-involved shootings that occurred this week. 

"When people say 'Black lives matter,' it doesn't mean that blue lives don't matter," Obama said, "But right now, the data shows that Black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. There is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens."

He also said that when communities mistrust the police, it makes it harder, and more unsafe, for officers to effectively do their jobs.

The Dallas PD held a press conference on July 8. They called on the public to support police officers.

"We don't feel support most days. Let's not make today most days. Please, we need your support to protect you," chief Brown said. 


No matter what, everyone — police officers and citizens — just want to be and feel safe, even when they're protesting, selling CDs outside of a store, or driving with their girlfriend and daughter.

This is a developing story. Revelist will update it accordingly.