World Bulletin / News Desk
Five or six bursts of gunfire captured on video prompted officers to converge on an area downtown and police are reportedly treating the incident as an active shooter situation.
"Today it appears two snipers shot 10 police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally. Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition," Police Chief David Brown said in a statement.
A tweet by the department's official account later announced the passing of another officer, bringing the death toll to four.
An intense search in underway for suspects, Brown said.
The department shared a photograph of a male wearing a camouflage colored t-shirt, designating the individual as "one of our suspects" and asking the public for help in identifying the individual.
A male who identified himself as the younger brother of the person in the photograph told a local TV station that his brother voluntarily turned in his rifle to police on site after the sniper attacks to avoid confusion and cleat himself of involvement in the shootings.
Police said in another statement the individual in the photograph turned himself in.
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency had said via Twitter that four of its officers, part of the Dallas police force, were shot and one was deceased, with the other injuries described as non life-threatening.
In a brief press conference, Brown, along with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, said the suspects threatened to plant a bomb in the city. It is unclear how authorities have linked the sniper attacks to the bomb threats.
A suspicious package was found near the location of a shootout with another suspect, authorities said. The suspect has been detained and the package is being handled by the bomb squad, police said in a tweet.
Mayor Rawlings called on residents to unite to support the victims.
Earlier Thursday, Community Safety Institute executive director John Matthews said that it was a "horrible day not only for Dallas but for the whole country".
Rail and bus service are suspended in the city and police has cleared the streets and pushed media away from the scene.
Dallas was one of a number of cities that held otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protests Thursday.
The demonstrations come on the heels of the deaths of three black men killed at the hands of police officers on three consecutive days, with the most recent shooting unfolding Wednesday in Minnesota.
That state’s governor said if the victim, Philando Castile, were not black, he’d be alive.
“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white?” Mark Dayton asked rhetorically. “I don't think it would have.”