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The Brief: At Least 5 Officers Killed in Dallas Attack

At least five police officers were shot and killed and another six injured by two snipers who interrupted a march organized in protest of recent police-involved shootings in other cities.

Dallas Police responding to an active shooter situation downtown on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Downtown Dallas erupted into chaos late Thursday night when at least five police officers were shot and killed and another six were injured by two snipers who interrupted a march organized in protest of recent police-involved shootings in other cities.

As WFAA reports, shots were fired downtown before 9 p.m. As of a 12:30 a.m. news conference, the Dallas Police Department had one suspect in custody after a shoot-out and officers were negotiating with another suspect in a parking garage. According to police, the second suspect told negotiators 'the end was coming,' that he's 'going to hurt and kill more of us' (meaning law enforcement), and that there were bombs planted all over the garage and downtown."

The motive for the shooting was unclear early Friday morning.

The march, otherwise peaceful, was one of many in cities across the country organized Thursday to protest the shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who each died at the hands of police this week in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively.

Richard Adams told WFAA that the Dallas protest was a lovely, peaceful march before the shots rang out — what he said sounded like a bunch of firecrackers going off.

Everybody just stopped — 'Run, run for your lives!'” he told WFAA. 

As law enforcement responded to the shooting, state officials responded to the violence with sorrow and disbelief, the Tribune's Johnathan Silver writes. Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement that “our thoughts and prayers” were with Dallas law enforcement and the victims. “In times like this we must remember — and emphasize — the importance of uniting as Americans,” he wrote.

Abbott later announced that in addition to offering state assistance to the city of Dallas, he was cutting short an out-of-state trip and traveling there.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also released a statement early Friday morning in which he said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to these officers and their families, and to those who have been injured. My office is in close contact with the local authorities on the ground and we will be offering to provide whatever support we can to help in assisting the victims and bringing the perpetrators to justice."

Trib Must Reads

A Year Later, Sandra Bland's Death Propels Calls for Reform, by Johnathan Silver — Sandra Bland's 2015 arrest, and death three days later in the Waller County Jail, remain catalysts for lawmakers, activists and policy experts seeking reforms in various facets of Texas criminal justice.

Cruz to Speak at GOP Convention, Still Not Endorsing Trump, by Abby Livingston — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz met with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump Thursday and agreed to speak at the Republican National Convention later this month.

Border Corruption Often Has Family Roots, by Nicole Cobler — David Cruz joined the U.S. Border Patrol because he wanted to be "part of the best." But family pressures, disillusionment, love and greed drove him to begin taking bribes to help immigrants enter the country illegally.

Appeals Court Tells Texas Foster Care Reforms Must Continue, by Edgar Walters — Texas must continue drafting court-ordered plans to fix its broken foster care system, according to a new order from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Texas Attorney General Calls Professors' Campus Carry Lawsuit "Baseless," by Matthew Watkins — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is calling a lawsuit filed by three University of Texas at Austin professors in an effort to block the state's new campus carry law "baseless" and said he plans to "vigorously defend it."

Texas Regulator: Let's Make Electricity Shopping Easier, by Jim Malewitz — Donna Nelson, who chairs the Texas Public Utility Commission, is trying to crack down on deceptive electricity providers and make it easier for Texans to shop for electricity.

Mental Health Matters Explores Texas Innovation (Video), by Alana Rocha — In partnership with KLRU and the Mental Health Channel, The Texas Tribune brings you Mental Health Matters, a news magazine program that takes viewers across the state to meet Texans finding or providing mental health care in innovative ways.

Execution Delayed After State Didn't Retest Lethal Drugs, by Jolie McCullough — A Texas execution set for next week has been delayed indefinitely because the state wasn't able to re-test the purity of the lethal drugs in time.

Provost Confirmed as Next Texas Tech President, by Matthew Watkins — Lawrence Schovanec, a longtime Texas Tech University faculty member who is the current provost, has been named the next president of the school.

Elsewhere

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Carrying while black? Be careful, community leaders warn, Houston Chronicle

Houston minister reacts to police shootings: Get white cops out of black neighborhoods, Houston Chronicle

How hits to the oil industry are clouding the Texas budget forecast, Austin American-Statesman

How the 1966 Tower sniper attack fueled debate over campus carry at UT, Austin American-Statesman

Paxton says Obama confusing sex and gender with trans bathroom edictThe Dallas Morning News

Hurd grills Comey about Clinton’s emails, San Antonio Express-News

Senator wants state to investigate UT's Houston land purchaseHouston Chronicle

'Black Lives Matter' painted on UT Confederate memorial after Alton Sterling, Philando Castile shootings, The Dallas Morning News

Human Rights Watch says inadequate health care response contributed to immigrant deaths in detention, San Antonio Express-News

Harris County vulnerable to potential Zika outbreak, Houston Chronicle

5 things to know about Texas’ fight against Zika, Austin American-Statesman

Stock sales rise, but money still scarce for drillersHouston Chronicle

Victim wonders why Dallas DA candidate made deal in beating case that left him blind in one eye, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

Women with children and babies and everybody was chaotically running. And then, maybe I was a half-a-block away, calming down a little bit when we heard it again. [...] There must have been five times tonight -- whenever we thought we were safe, people said 'Run, people were shot!'” 

 — Richard Adams, a bystander, on the Thursday night shooting in Dallas

Today in TribTalk

Emergency leave policies warrant legislative attention, by State Sen. Jane Nelson —  Agencies should not be using emergency leave intended for grieving employees as a means of severance pay for departing employees, and we will make that clear.

News From Home

•    While several high-profile cases have fueled a national debate on police shootings, there is no comprehensive data on such shootings in Texas. With reader support, we hope to introduce a new layer of transparency here. And you can help. Click here for more information on how to assist in making this project a reality.

•    Since 2004, more than 100 federal law enforcement officials charged with protecting the border have been accused of doing the exact opposite. See their mugshots and stories in this interactive database of allegedly corrupt border watchdogs.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

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