DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A peaceful protest has taken a turn after snipers shot 11 police officers, killing four, according to Dallas Police Chief Brown.

“Some officers were shot in the back,” said Chief Brown, who added during a press conference that they believe a bomb may be hidden somewhere downtown.

Chief Brown sent the following statement via email at 10:35 p.m. Thursday night.

Tonight it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally. Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition. An intensive search for suspects is currently underway. No suspects are in custody at this time. We ask that any citizen with information regarding the shootings tonight call 214-671-3482.

Witnesses told CBS11 they heard multiple gunshots fire off and saw protestors start running, fearful for their lives.

“They were shooting down at police. I saw officers get hit,” said protestor Jamal Johnson.

Another witness recounted the moment he heard at least “30 gun shits” go off.

“Whoever was shooting had an assault rifle — and I know guns. The shots were in rapid succession,” he said.

Yet another witness recounted how police officers yelled at her to get down.

Clarissa Myles was eating at McDonald when the chaos began.  “Everyone was screaming, people were running… I saw at least probably 30 shots go off,” she said. 

Myles also said she saw two men who were “super upset” with police right before shots rang out. She was shocked that the peaceful protest could take such a sinister turn so quickly.

“Are they really shooting?  This was a peaceful protest,” said Myles in disbelief.


Police searched for a suspect or suspects with rifles in a parking garage at Griffin and Lamar in downtown Dallas immediately after the shooting.

DART rail and bus service in downtown has been suspended due to the shooting.

A witness standing outside of Baylor Hospital in Dallas saw one of the wounded officers arrive at the ER.

“We were about two blocks away when we saw a cop car with a bullet hole in the door riding on its rims past us,” he said.

Still no word on the conditions of either officer who was shot.

Dallas police are telling people to get off the streets of downtown as they continue to search for the two suspects.

Governor Abbott released the following statement on the shootings in Dallas:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas law enforcement community and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers killed and injured this evening. I’ve spoken to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and have directed him to offer whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time. In times like this we must remember – and emphasize – the importance of uniting as Americans.”

This is a developing story. CBS11 has crews on the scene. 

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)