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Witnesses to Dallas horror: 'They just kept shooting'

By Martin Smith
Witnesses to Dallas horror: 'They just kept shooting'
Witnesses said the assailants seemed to have plotted to ambush and execute cops. Screenshot courtesy Michael Kevin Bautista/Facebook

DALLAS, July 8 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people who turned out to protest two fatal shootings involving police officers instead became witnesses to more violence as a gunman fired into the crowd, killing five officers.

Seven other police officers were injured as onlookers scrambled for cover.


"I didn't see anybody else get shot, just the cops. I saw cops getting shot, right there in plain sight," Cortney Washington told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

"While we was running, like, they just kept shooting," Washington said. "We didn't know where it was coming from."

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Another witness told MSNBC: "We heard shots, we smelled gunpowder, and that's when everything got really intense and surreal," the man said. "We just started to run and grab kids."

Renee Sifflet told The Dallas Morning News she took her three teenage children to the rally "for a positive experience, something they could say they were part of when they're older."

"Then it turned negative," Sifflet said.

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Witness Carlos Harris told the News the gunfire was "strategic. It was tap-tap-pause. Tap-tap-pause."

Ismael Dejesus was in his downtown Dallas hotel room when he heard "popping sounds." He went to the balcony to see what was going on.


"I thought it was fireworks," he told CNN's Don Lemon.

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He then described how he saw a gunman get out of a Chevy Tahoe SUV wearing tactical clothing.

"Man had a rifle, AR-15, clear as day. Pretty big magazine.

"He had multiple pockets, he had three to four pockets in front of his pants. He definitely looked like he was wearing something in his shirt.

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"He got out of there, walked over to the pillar, put a magazine in and started firing.

"It did look planned. He knew where to stand. He had ammo ready. They weren't short mags. They were high-capacity magazines."

Dejesus believes the shooter was deliberately trying to draw police near by spraying bullets to the left and right.

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"He was trying to get a commotion going, trying to get cops' attention."

When one officer attempts to engage the shooter one-on-one, he was killed by multiple shots fired at point blank range.

Dejesus said that it "looked like an execution." He noted how the gunman stood over the police officer "after he was already down and shot him three or four more times in the back. It was very disturbing to watch.

"He shot without any fear. He didn't care."


Michael Kevin Bautista, who was taking part in the Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas on Thursday evening, streamed video of the shootout between the gunmen and police officers on Facebook Live.

In the three-minute footage, several officers can be seen exchanging fire with the gunmen.

"They're shooting right now. And there's an officer down," he says in the video. "It's coming from the right over there, from around these buildings."

Bautista identified the location as the intersection of Main Street and Lamar Street. The footage shows the officers advancing toward the direction of the gunshots.

"They're moving in on somebody," Bautista said. "I think they might have got somebody."

Another witness tweeted a video as she saw the carnage from her apartment.

One woman told {link:NBC Dallas Fort Worth: "" target="_blank"}: "We were leaving, and when we turned, there was cops. They were patrolling. Then, all of a sudden, you've seen them just fall."


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