Shooting in Dallas; 5 police officers killed

160708-dallas-shooting-mbe-146p-2_39748f5a6d9c547207ed4dd83553a06d.nbcnews-ux-600-480Much of downtown Dallas was in lockdown early Friday after snipers shot 11 officers, five fatally, during a protest over recent shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Three people were in custody and a fourth suspect exchanged gunfire with authorities in a parking garage downtown into the morning, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said.

NBC Dallas Fort-Worth reported the fourth suspect had been “neutralized” at around 2:45 a.m. (3:45 ET). Earlier, he had told police negotiators that “the end is coming” and that “there are bombs all over the place in this garage and downtown,” Brown said.

Extensive sweeps of downtown for explosives were underway in the early hours.

At least two snipers fired from an elevated positions on police officers minutes before 9 p.m. CT, according to Brown. He described the shootings as “ambush style.”

“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” he told a news conference — noting that some were shot in the back.

President Barack Obama, who was traveling to Warsaw, Poland, for a NATO meeting, had been briefed on the incident, according to a White House spokesman.

The search for shooters stretched across hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

There may be other suspects at large. “We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” Brown said. Police were in contact with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Brown said.

“There had to be some speculation from us there would be some knowledge of the [demonstration] route,” he said.

Brown said investigators are working under the assumption that all the suspects were working together. They have not been cooperative, he said. “We just are not getting the cooperation we’d like to know that answer of why, the motivation, who they are.”

Four of the five slain officers were Dallas police, and the fifth was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. A civilian was also wounded, authorities said.

Around 800 people were at the demonstration, and around 100 police officers were assigned to the event and the surrounding area, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. The shooting occurred after the demonstration ended and as a march was taking place. (Courtesy NBC News)