WARSAW, Poland — President Barack Obama said America is “horrified” over the shootings of police officers in Dallas and there’s no possible justification for the attacks.
“There has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement,” he said.
Obama spoke from Warsaw, Poland, where he’s meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit.
Obama said justice will be done and he’s asking all Americans to pray for the fallen officers and their families. He also said the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.
“Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they (law enforcement) make for us,” he said.
Obama promised to speak more about the event once more details have been released.
Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas on Thursday evening, killing five officers and injuring seven others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.
One of the officers killed worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. He has been identified as 43-year-old Brent Thompson. According to the Dallas Morning News, he joined the department in 2009.
Three of the injured officers also worked for DART.
The Dallas shooting was the deadliest day for law enforcement since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The number of dead officers could rise as multiple were in critical condition. Police also said one civilian had been shot.
ABC News reported some of the officers were shot in the back.
Police Chief David Brown said they believed the suspects threatened to plant a bomb in the downtown area. Police found a suspicious package near the suspect involved in the shootout, and it was secured by the Dallas Police Department bomb squad.
Two more were reportedly found nearby and police were working to secure those. A sweep for more devices was expected to take hours.
Brown said in an early Friday morning press conference that officers were involved in a shootout in a second-floor garage with a suspect, and were trying to negotiate with him. The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, told police that he was going to kill many more members of law enforcement, and that there were bombs located all around the garage and around downtown Dallas.
That shootout ended about 1 a.m. Arizona time, when the suspect died. Johnson was killed in a parking garage when police detonated an explosive about four hours after the attack began. Authorities say the explosive was attached to a robot to protect officers.
The chief added that officers took a female suspect into custody who was near the garage, and they took two others into custody that had camouflage backpacks who sped away from an area of interest in a car.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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