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Officers Shot at Dallas Protest; Eyewitness Describe Scene of Pandemonium; Dallas Police Hold News Conference. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 7, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:12] CNN ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "Breaking News."

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We have been looking at reports of our affiliate KTVT. This is "Breaking News" on CNN. Reports of two police officers shot at a protest in Dallas tonight.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Police saying this is an active shooter situation and warning protesters to flee the area. We're also being told they are being told to clear downtown. Eyewitnesses describe a scene of complete pandemonium and say they heard 20 gunshots in rapid succession.

Again, that is our breaking news tonight from Dallas, Texas, as we look at these live pictures. S.W.A.T. team on the scene. This is the second S.W.A.T. vehicle we have seen.

Ben Ferguson, who is a Dallas resident and he's frequently seen here on CNN joins us now by telephone.

Ben, what are you hearing from sources there in Dallas?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, one, that this was a shooting that was definitely intended for the police. You have many police officers are saying now that there are multiple people, more than two officers that could be injured in this shooting.

They also have a man on the loose. This has been the core of downtown, an area downtown that is considered to be very safe. This is right by (INAUDIBLE), close to CNN. And so this is an area where a lot of protest, a lot of parade, that's right by the federal courthouse.

It's actually just blocks away from where JFK was shot in Dallas. So it's an area that people know well. But between DART officers which were down there in this area, and DART officers are in charge of the public transportation. There's a lot of -- the public transportation in this area by Greyhound bus station,

Many of the videos you've seen shown those actual buses coming in. Local buses.

And so now you have DART and Dallas police that were, you know, the target of this situation, where this took place. And the shooting, from what I've been told from several that I've been talking to, is that this was a very intentional, purposeful shooting at police officers. That was the intent of this. They were the target at this rally.

LEMON: Ben, as we continue to look at these pictures here from Dallas, the confirm reports are that there are two police officers who were shot and we don't know the conditions. We were just listening to a reporter, reporter from KTVT who is saying it was one of his friends, he's going to the hospital to check on one of his friends, at least one of them was shot in the arms.

But there are reports in the area that more officers were shot than two. Again, I want to tell our viewers we only have confirmed two officers.

Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Yes, I know. That's what I was told. The numbers I was told. And, again, unconfirmed, I want to make that clear. As many as six police officers were injured during this shooting is what I was told from a couple of different people around law enforcement.

And I think the part now that is the most shocking is the fact that this is still an active shooter situation. The police officer, they are still very much, may stand off, they just don't know who this person or individuals could be. They're not even sure if it's one shooter or multiple shooters from what I've been told.

And this is, you know, this was a rally that was supposed to be about police brutality. And, obviously, there were people that decided that they wanted to go after these police that had nothing to do with what happened in Minneapolis, or nothing to do with what happened in Baton Rouge, and this is where that rhetoric has gone to this point. And it's shocking when you see this, I think, in a town that you live in. You know, there was a protest tonight. It was covered today. It was very much the same type of protest --


LEMON: Hey, Ben, stand by, stand by, stand by, because our affiliate there, KTVT is -- there's something going on with the cops. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far back do we have to go? Are you guys moving back, too?


LEMON: So they're moving, our affiliate back.

It looks like one of the officers --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but we've been ask to move back a little bit.

LEMON: They're starting to unplugged, which you can understand, if they are being push back, and especially if there's an active shooter, they want everyone to be safe. And police must do their jobs in this particular situation.

But, again, these are live pictures coming in. This is all unfolding. You're seeing it unfold as I'm seeing it.

I just happen to be here to have the first to be able to tell you, you know, what's going on a broadcast it to you, at least. So again, our affiliates and the news crews in Dallas being pushed back.

Again, the confirmation that we have at least from our affiliates there, two officers shot. There are reports that more officers may have been injured and that doesn't necessarily mean shot during this confrontation with police.

We're also hearing that there were at least shots of 20 -- 20 shots in succession. We had an eyewitness, witness at least on the phone, Amanda Kleen (ph), who lives in the area who said she was walking her dogs, and all of a sudden, she heard the shots and people just started scattering. She said there were police officers everywhere.

Ben Ferguson who lives in Dallas knows the area very well joins us now on the phone.

[23:05:20] And, Ben, again, tell us about this area. We're told it's the central business district. You said it's close to where J.F.K. was assassinated, but it's a pretty popular business area in downtown Dallas.

FERGUSON: This is an area that is very popular. You have a courthouse right there. You have the Greyhound bus station. You also have the local hub where all the bussing, the DART bussing in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

The aerial pictures that you're seeing right now, that street you're seeing by that green building on your left is the corridor where all of the bussing would come through into downtown. So this is a heavily-populated area. And that's one of the reasons why you have so many people that come into this area for protesting because it's easy for people to get into using public transportation.

You have not only the monorail-type system that comes in, but also the actual buses that come in. I also just been told the police are also now going into parking garages and trying to clear because they're not sure if the shots were fired from what I've been told from the street or if they were shot from above.

And also, police officers have been going into one of the hotels on the corner here as well. And so this is, when you say an active shooter situation, they're not at this point, we're not sure if either he could be in a building or gone into the parking garages, or where these shots were fired from. And this is an area where a lot of people also go for night life. There's some very famous restaurants down in this area.

Earlier, there was an individual, I think, who said he worked at an old, historic Italian pizza places that's right down the street, where a lot of tourists would go and eat.

And you're very close, like I said, there's two flags that are on the picture on the bottom of your screen. That is very close to right where JFK was, which is obviously an historical spot where many tourists would go to see that location, where you have right there by the book depository.

So this is an area that is heavily populated. A lot of town homes/condos, apartment. And you also have, I would say, three to four of the premiered downtown Dallas hotels that are all within walking distance of this area right there.


FERGUSON: And to see this shutdown, I mean, if you look on the right side of the screen and also the left, I mean, they've shut these streets down, where you can't move. You can't go anywhere.

This is, this is, I think, put it on scale of just how -- this would be like the equivalent in Dallas of shutting down Times Square in New York City and Broadway and everywhere around you. That's how massive this is.


LEMON: OK, Ben. Ben, I need you to stand by. I need to get some other information in here.

As you were saying this is the hub for the DART, all the transportation in Dallas. I'm also getting word now from DART media that all DART rail and bus service suspended in downtown Dallas. So this is a situation that we have in Dallas.

There is an active shooter situation happening. There are reports of two officers shot at a Dallas protest.

Here with me now, CNN political contributor Van Jones, Attorney Areva Martin, "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow, Neil Franklin, a retired Maryland state police major and Tom Bernie, who is a former New York police detective. And also on the phone with me Ben Ferguson, who lives in Dallas, who is a frequent guest on our show and on CNN.

So here we have it. As we look at these live pictures of what's happening.

And Van Jones, you mentioned it, hoping that it was a peaceful protest and that, you know, there was nothing out of sorts in Dallas, but here we are.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, here we are. And, you know, this is a very, very horrific moment in American history.

What I want to say very clearly is violence is wrong. Political violence is wrong. And we are in danger now of being sucked into a culture of violence in the United States of America, which is a shocking thing to say. But we are either going to turn to each other or on each other. We're either going to come together or come apart. And we are now at the precipice.

You have too much violence. You have the street violence. You have police violence. Now, apparently, anti-police violence, the fear of terrorist violence, too much violence and then polarization on top of that.

And so I think all parties need to take a big step back of, obviously, you cannot blame the peaceful protesters for any of this, but we have too many guns in America, too many, frankly, mentally unstable people in America and the normalization now possibly of violence.

This could be a very, very important moment for all leadership on all sides to declare an opposition to this kind of stuff and also to call for some empathy and understanding.

There will now be a tremendous amount of fear on both sides and we have to be a better country than this.

[23:10:10] LEMON: Yes. KTVT is one of our affiliates on the scene in Dallas, Texas.

And they are reporting. Let's listen.

KEN MOLESTINA, KTVT REPORTER: And police officer's camera, they told us, there wasn't --- yes, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: Hey, real quick, are those people -- can you not go anywhere, or are they free to leave the area?

MOLESTINA: They're free to leave the area. The problem is every direction you walk in, it's kind of blocked off. So at this point, we're kind of stuck.


MOLESTINA: I suspect that if we keep walking behind us down Main Street, that we can get back out that way. But at this point, you know, they've even put up tape to sort of contain us in this area and stop pedestrians from walking into areas that they're just unsafe right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Ken Molestina, thanks very much. Ken, we'll check back with you in just a little bit.

Now I want to go Baylor Hospital. We mentioned two officers shot tonight. One of them taken to Parkland. Another officer, taken to Baylor Hospital.

Dan Haggerty live for us tonight over at Baylor.

Dan, what do you know? What did you see?

DAN HAGGERTY, KTVT REPORTER: Well, some of the witnesses told us, Doug, they saw what appeared to be an undercover officer with what they thought might have been a gunshot wound being rushed into the doors behind me.

You can see the flashing lights. Clearly, they are keeping this place on lock down. As I step out of the way. I want you to notice what appears to be ready stretchers. Some people in their scrubs, ready for more folks to be brought up apparently.

We did see in the past couple of minutes, two more stretchers with two more people being brought down the road and taken in the front of the emergency room here at Baylor.

I could not tell if they were police officers. Again, the person that I mentioned before that was brought in, that they thought was an undercover was dressed in street clothes, but had what appeared to be a police vest on.

I want to bring in one of those witnesses now, Nick Van (ph).

Nick, I kind of paraphrased a little bit what you told me earlier, but if you could tell us again what you saw.

NICK VAN, WITNESS: My brother and I went to get some coffee at a convenience store. My mom is in the cancer center. And as we are walking back, we saw this police car, that's kind of face down, riding on his room at a high rate of speed, throwing sparks and everything. So it's like it kind of spark out interest.

And we came to the hospital. We noticed everything was taped off and saw all the police cars. And we got here right at the time that (INAUDIBLE) was pulling in, like two undercover police officers with police vests on. One guy was all patched up on his shoulder. And he did walk to the stretcher and get on himself with their help and they wheeled him in. Everybody was calm in that sense, but like all the police cars getting here, you know, it's kind of exciting.

HAGGERTY: The first vehicle you described certainly didn't sound calm. The car roaring in here, sparks flying.

VAN: Yes.

HAGGERTY: Tell me a little bit more about what you remember from that happened.

VAN: Right. We are about two blocks away when we saw that. He came flying by us, and we both knew something was wrong. And we heard the sirens keep going off and we heard them stop pretty close. And as we got back to the hospital, we noticed all the lights and we walked this way. And so we can see a bullet hole in the door of that same car --

HAGGERTY: You can see a bullet hole in that door of the car?

VAN: Of the same car on the opposite side of the wheel. We don't know about the other side. But --

HAGGERTY: Tell me more about, tell me more about that bullet hole. Where is it? How do you recognize it is a bullet hole? VAN: It's from all I've seen a bullet hole, it just looks like a bullet hole in the white part of the car, kind of at the top of the door, toward the bottom of the window. But it may not be, but it sure looks like one. And so he came roaring in. I saw nobody come out of that car. But I did see that other -- what appeared to be an officer with a bullet proof vest wearing grey shirt and another officer in shorts come out of a late-model avalanche. They just wheeled him in.

And then they brought in some other, guys, that didn't look like officers at all.

LEMON: So there, you're listening to our affiliate KTVT. They are interviewing witnesses on the scene. There is an active shooter situation still going on. They are interviewing witnesses at the hospital who saw people coming in and describing what they saw and when it happened.

Again, we're also told that the DART, which is the rail and bus service in downtown Dallas has been shut down. We're also getting information that -- and this is just in to CNN.

The reports are that urgent Dallas shooting, three DART officers shot. So it has gone now from two to three. Three DART officers have been shot in downtown Dallas according to the vice president of communications and engagements for Dallas, which is DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit. His name is Morgan Lyons.

Morgan Lyons, the assistant vice president of communications and community engagement at the Dallas Area of Rapid Transit, which is what DART stands for.

Again, three officers, unclear if other officers from other agencies have been shot. But we're getting word now that three officers have been shot. That's a confirmation. Others may be injured.

[23:15:05] As you heard, there was the scene of chaos at one of the hospitals. We know that when we were reporting that at least two officers had been shot and they had been taken to different hospitals. Now we're getting reports of three officers shot. And, again, it is unclear if other officers and other agencies have been shot as well.

We're also being told that there were other injuries which doesn't necessarily mean shot, but injured, could be from people running or what have you.

I'm getting information now that we have Michael Jackson, who was an eyewitness to the protests as well. He joins us now by phone.

Michael, what do you know?

MICHAEL JACKSON, WITNESS TO DALLAS PROTEST SHOOTING (via telephone): Good evening, Don. How are you?

LEMON: I have been better. How are you is the question. Where were you and what did you see? JACKSON: Actually, me and my partner and my friend, we was all out there. I was probably going, you know, chatting with a few people online. So in the midst of everything, you know, everybody is doing a peaceful protest, out of nowhere, you hear a couple of gunshots. And immediately, when I hear it, anything that's out of the norm, I immediately run the opposite way of everything.

And so immediately we started running. And my cousin, which is an officer, I immediately start trying to look for him and everything, you know, trying to call my family, like, hey, where is my cousin, you know, and nobody found him. So a couple of people got trampled, you know, through all the pandemonium and everything.

Well, you know, they started -- they shot an officer down. A couple of officer down. And now it's like, this is it, it's out of control.

LEMON: So you were in the crowd when this happened.

JACKSON: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. And you're walking with your friends, you said. You and your partner and some of your friends?


LEMON: So what did you hear?

JACKSON: What I heard -- first, you heard a couple of gunshots. It's like fire crackers. Then immediately after that, it's a couple of more shots. And then you saw everybody just started running now, five seconds later, you'll hear sirens, and you know, but then just out of control.

LEMON: You said that people were trampled?

JACKSON: Yes, people were trampled. People were picking them up. You know, like a couple of Indian people, a couple of black people in the midst of everything. It's just out of control here in Dallas. This is -- the only thing I can do is just get to the house and get out of it in the midst of everything because I do not want to get shot.

LEMON: Yes. So are you at home now?

JACKSON: Yes, I immediately got home. I got out of everything.

LEMON: So was the protest still happening? Or was it winding down? What was going on?

JACKSON: Actually, it was in the midst of the protest. Everything was going on. It was like in the heart of it. It was peaceful. You know, it was steady picking up. More people was coming out. More people doing, you know, big peaceful protest but in the midst of it, it just starts -- gunshot started, you know, coming out, barrelling out.

LEMON: Ringing out. And did you see anyone get shot? JACKSON: That I did not see, Don, because I immediately started running the opposite way up the steps because I don't want to, you know, see anything. And I don't want to be in the midst of anything like that.

LEMON: So you only heard shots. You didn't hear people saying anything?

JACKSON: They were -- of course, people were hollering, (INAUDIBLE), and I saw a few people starting to try to pull their phones out to videotape it. I didn't want any part of it. I immediately run the opposite way.

LEMON: So what do you make of the situation in Dallas. This is a very -- the central business district is a very busy area.


LEMON: We don't know if it was connected to the --

JACKSON: This is my hometown, my home state. I'm here back and forth between Texas and Georgia. We have ups and downs here and little bumps in the road. But this is something out of the ordinary. This has never happened. If it did, it happened back in the day. But this is crazy, Don. This is crazy.

I was reading Facebook this morning. One guy in Louisiana said we truly turned enough cheeks, now it's time taking for one-on-one. So this evening is showing, right before our eyes, it's unfolding.

LEMON: Yes. And so the people you are with, where are they? How are they doing?

JACKSON: Well, I'm back home, me and my partner, but other people are still out. My phone is ringing while I'm on the phone with you. But we're home in the house, relaxing, sitting still with our mouths hanging wide open.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, Michael. We appreciate it. We're glad that you're safe.

JACKSON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

LEMON: I'm going to bring in now G.J. McCarthy on the phone. Also, a witness in the crowd.

G.J., what did you see, what did you hear?

G.J. MCCARTHY, WITNESS TO DALLAS PROTEST SHOOTING (via telephone): Yes. We were -- it's sounded, I was under the impression that the parade was winding down. People were walking back towards, where the main area was, near the garden.

I don't even remember what tree I was on, but it was near the parking garage I think a lot of it started. And it just sounded like fireworks at first. And, you know, the crowd in front of me started to kind of back away. And then it got a little bit louder and more kind of intermittent, like not consistent.

And then people just took off and started hopping fences and stuff like that. And I kind of went forward and not really sure. I still thought it was fireworks actually.

[23:20:00] So we went around to where that parking garage was. And there was a guy, and I don't know if he was dead. He was just kind of holding him, trying to keep him calm. The police officers were about ten feet ahead of us.

It starts behind the cop car. And that's when it really started to sound like gunfire. And it sounded like two different kinds of guns. I'm not sure if the police were returning fire or not. I don't know enough about guns to know what kind they were. But that went on for a while.

They pushed us into that parking garage. Then people started to spill out from the stairwell from the upper level yelling that somebody was up there with the gun. And the cops started just moving us. And I've been kind of moved back since then to different perimeters, though.

LEMON: So you're still, you're still there.

MCCARTHY: I am. I was down at the Omni, where a whole bunch of cops ran, but that looked like it cleared out. I'm not sure what that was. (INAUDIBLE) my way back where my colleagues are. There were three of us photographers that were covering the parade today, so I'm headed back towards where they were.


LEMON: You're a photojournalist for the "Dallas Morning News." So you're actually covering this, right?

MCCARTHY: Right. Correct.

LEMON: If you have photos, we'd love to see them, by the way.

MCCARTHY: You have to go through the desk for that.

LEMON: Yes, OK. I'm being -- this is your video I'm told. So we did that, we did as much.

This is your video. Let's look in. I want to listen for a little bit.


LEMON: G.J., this is -- Dallas is on Central Time, correct?

MCCARTHY: Yes, sir.

LEMON: So what time did this happen?

MCCARTHY: Close to 9. It was about when the parade was sort of scheduled to wrap up. Earlier, they had almost -- it would be about 7 to 9. Some of these previous rallies and marches kind of went on a little bit longer. But this really had -- they have all met at the red courthouse, near closer towards Dewey Plaza and that area. That was probably about 8:30. And then they've heard of -- did a thing there.

Had some closing remarks and were walking back. I mean, it was still daylight so it wasn't quite like 9 here yet.

LEMON: Any idea where or who the shots came from. Who was being targeted?

MCCARTHY: It was in front of me. It seem like, I started making my way towards that parking garage. And the way the cops were acting, that's where I thought they were, although, in talking to the people back at the paper on, on some messaging systems they have, it sounded like some folks thought it was at Centro.

I really, it felt and sounded in the way the police were sort of responding like it was at in that day -- it's a big red garage for Bank of America Plaza.

That's where I thought the shooter was, especially when all the people came spilling out of that stairwell. That's where I thought it was for sure. That there must have been somebody out there like a sniper or something. People kept yelling that there was a sniper up there and it was just real chaotic.

LEMON: And so you have been pushed back. You said they keep pushing you back.

MCCARTHY: Yes, they'll sort of get a crowd of people, kind of gathered and then they'll say you guys have to move back and move back. It seems like (INAUDIBLE), they're kind of over near Austin and Jackson. There's a group of people there and that seems to be where there's a perimeter, although now I'm seeing people move a little more freely. So I'm not sure if this has started to wind down or not yet.

LEMON: So we're being told that all the DART services, which is buses and transit halted in downtown.

Describe to us what downtown looks like right now.

MCCARTHY: I mean, it's kind of cool outside. It's calm over by the hotel. I mean, everyone was asked to leave the hotel and came out with their hands up. But then they just let them back in about five to ten minutes ago.

There's a line of police cars up and down like Lamar. There's a group of police officers still kind of hanging out behind the building, but it doesn't have the same sort of intense feeling. There are pedestrians kind of milling about, but it's pretty calm.

The police choppers are still in the air so I assume they're doing something. Coming up, police choppers and the news choppers.

LEMON: Yes, the news choppers. We're taking a live picture as you're talking from our affiliate, KTVT, which we thank them for being so helpful.

Again, if you're just tuning in, don't go anywhere, G.J., because I'm going to continue to talk to you.

If you're just tuning in, there is an active shooter situation in Dallas, Texas. And as you see from the right, on your screen there, we've gotten word that three Dallas transit officers have been shot, what they called DART officers. The downtown, at least three of them, downtown Dallas in a virtual stand still. They are being told to clear the area.

We have a "Dallas Morning News" photojournalist on the phone with us, G.J. McCarthy who was there and witnesses.

You said it happened just before 10:00 Eastern Time, 9:00 Central. Dallas is on Central Time. And you said you heard several gunshots. You thought it was fireworks and then people started to realize, G.J., that it was indeed not fireworks.

[23:25:00] MCCARTHY: Right. And there just been a couple of homeland security down Austin Street. I don't know what that's about. They have their lights on, but they are at the courthouse down there.

Anyway -- yes, it sounded like firework. And, you know, there was a couple of quick little pops and people started to run. I just figured they were having fun and then it got a lot less consistent sounding, it just got louder and more kind of like frenzied.

LEMON: Did you ever see any of the officers? Because as we were looking at the live pictures from earlier, we saw the officers that were in combat gear and tactical gear.

MCCARTHY: Yes. They started to actually suit up near the bus station. They all start to run out and started putting on tactical gear and running again towards like El Centro College and that big parking truck.

I don't know if there was still somebody in there or not. But, yes, they were suiting up in tactical gear. I haven't seen any of like the S.W.A.T. vehicles that they have here for stuff like this to show up yet, but they may be on the other side.

LEMON: So tell us about El Centro College, because there were -- we saw a host of officers and S.W.A.T. team members there. Is it believed to be where the shooter may be holed up?

MCCARTHY: I have no idea. I mean, I have seen that in this messaging system we have at work. They've said that a couple of times, but it's all unconfirmed. I honestly don't know where anything is at, or where anybody is at.

LEMON: And where are you again, G.J.?

MCCARTHY: I am now back a little bit south of the DART, in front of the Greyhound bus station. There's a big Greyhound bus station, where a crowd of people that are just kind of hanging around down there. That's one of the perimeters that I got kind of moved back and where a couple of my colleagues were at, when this sort of got a little bit more controlled and less chaotic.

LEMON: We're also being told that there are people who cannot get off of some of the DART trains or buses. Do you know anything about that?

MCCARTHY: I do not know.

LEMON: Yes. Do you know anything about -- have you heard anything about -- besides injuries, anything graver than injury?

LEMON: I heard you guys when I was on hold saying that there was now a third officer. I mean, I saw people wiping out when they were jumping the fences so I'm sure people kind of got hurt doing that.

There was a lady, I took some photos of her that was laying down in the street. It was really far away and through a long lens, it took me a minute to figure out that it wasn't a police officer. The first thing I thought that was an officer down.

People were yelling "Officer Down." I did hear the police yelling that. So when I saw someone laying in the street, that's what I thought it was. But that it was a lady and she eventually got up and hobbled off. I don't know -- she probably just fell or something. I'm not sure. That was probably about a hundred yards away --

LEMON: OK. So I want you to stand by, G.J.

MCCARTHY: OK. I'm going to go towards --

LEMON: OK. You just let me know if you have to leave.

MCCARTHY: Yes. Let me get back to work.

LEMON: OK. Go ahead, go ahead, G.J.

MCCARTHY: My bosses are probably listening to this right now, wondering why I'm not working. Happy to help.

LEMON: OK. Thank you very much, G.J. McCarthy is on the scene, in the "Dallas Morning News," photojournalist and he's helping us out.

So here's a sad news that I have to report to you.

We're getting word now that at least four Dallas transit officers have been shot. One has died. One officer is dead. Four in total that we have so far shot.

Is that four total or five? Four -- so to be very careful here, four shot in downtown Dallas. One is deceased. I'm not sure if it's five in total or four in total. But, again, this coming from DART media. But what we know is that four officers shot, one is deceased. And I will try to get you the correct numbers as soon as I get them. But here is the information.

Four DART police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, one deceased, others not life threatening. No I.D.s yet. Updates to come.

So again we're learning that one officer has died in this shooting in downtown Dallas.

Are these live pictures we're looking at? So you can hear as all this is going on, yelling "Black Lives Matter" at the protests there.

One officer dead, four shot.

The crowed, some of the crowd still on the scene. And as you heard from some of the witnesses, many of the people just ran to safety.

[23:30:03] A lot of them were being pushed back to other areas that keep pushing the perimeter back, because there's an active shooter situation in the area.

According to people who live there, this is a very busy area. Its downtown Dallas, this is for business district. There is a community college there called Centro College. There's also the Omni Hotel which our Dallas police reporting that someone that he knows was being shuffled (ph) about and told to get stay (ph) in the hotel and they saw officers inside of the hotel, but everything is fine now inside the Omni Hotel.

Live pictures now, an aerial shot from our affiliate KTVT. This is our chopper, sorry about the noise. We don't have control of these pictures. This is our affiliate pictures. Also our affiliate KDAF has been helping us as well with some of the ground shots.

And as we look at some of those ground shots, we saw SWAT team members there appeared to be -- with a standoff, crouched behind their vehicles and behind brick walls. CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now from Dallas, Texas. Ed, you are stationed in the Dallas, if I'm correct. Know the area very well. He joins us by phone. What do you know, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I am told by a force in Dallas with first and knowledge of the event unfolding tonight that there's obviously a horrible situation. We've heard from the Dallas area rapid transit police department, and just so people understand, DART is the police force that monitors the light rail system that goes to downtown Dallas and then there's a bus line to -- up to that part of town.

So, there are multiple law enforcement agencies that were talking and involved in the situation there. They have DART officers and you have also Dallas police department officers that were involved in escorting along the march there at the downtown Dallas tonight. But I am told by a source with knowledge of the events unfolding there in down tonight that this is an extremely serious situation for the police department there and that as many as nine officers have been wounded tonight in that attack in downtown Dallas.

So, obviously, this is a situation that is still unfolding, of course responders and everyone responding to the situation and still trying to make sense and gather the exact numbers of what happened. But everybody there in law enforcement in Dallas knows the gravity of this situation and, obviously, with as many as nine officers wounded, an incredibly chaotic and dangerous situation, as everyone can clearly see unfolding there in Dallas tonight.

What is not exactly clear and what we're still trying to gather and unfold at this point is, what agency, these officers are a part of this Dallas police department with DART. DART officials have said that four of their officers, three of them have been wounded and one has been killed. So, there are still a number of other officers there and we're still trying to account for and get updates on.

So, just -- the sheer -- that the number that we're hearing here just kind of explains the gravity of the situation that law enforcement is dealing with there tonight.

LEMON: All right. Ed Lavandera, stand by. Ed Lavandera, reporting. And as you heard from Ed, Dallas area rapid transit officers, we're being told four officers shot, one dead, now we're being told. That was the information that we had.

Ed Lavandera is reporting now that up to nine officers wounded in this Dallas incident. Ed says, as he reported, he's not sure of what agencies they're with. Some are with the Dallas police department possibly but we know for sure that the one who has died and one of the four I believe who shot is with the Dallas area rapid transit officers, DART, which is the, obviously, the transit, the buses and the rail system in Dallas.

Again, and now we're getting reports and confirmation that up to nine officers have been wounded. Our Ed Lavandera, who is station, this is his region, and knows it very well, is joining us by phone now. Ed, tell us about this area downtown where this happen.

LAVANDERA: Downtown, the direction is just a block from our office there in downtown Dallas. So, we've had linking (ph) the reports of the march coming in. What stood out to me is Dallas police department -- the police ...

LEMON: Ed Lavandera -- Ed, will you please stand by. I have some new information that I need to report.

This is the latest breaking news here on CNN that we're getting from the Dallas police chief. Three officers are deceased now, three officers. Two are in surgery, three are in critical condition. Again, that is according to the city of Dallas from the police chief. Again, we're hearing up to nine officers injured in this, three officers are deceased, two are in surgery, three are in critical condition tonight.

[23:35:02] Now, we're getting word that 10, that number has been upped to 10, 10 officers shot. Ten officers shot, two snipers were the shooters. Stand by, I'm just getting this in my ear. Ten officers shot, two snipers, shooters, and three officers dead. Do we know anything about the snipers? Have they been apprehended? We do not know. OK.

So again, here is what we know again. This is from the -- from Chief Brown. No suspects in custody. Search is still under way. Intensive search. Again, and I -- as you can tell, I'm speaking slowly because I'm being given this information by my producer in my ear. Thank you, Flip (ph).

So tonight it appears that two snipers shot 10 police officers from elevated positions were told during the protest rally. Three officers are deceased at the moment, two are in surgery, three are in critical condition. An intensive search for suspects currently under way. No suspects in custody at this time and they're asking that citizens with information regarding the shootings tonight call the Dallas police department. And they're going to update us as soon as they get more information.

So here we go. We went on the air at 10 p.m., peaceful protests happening in cities all across the country, Dallas was one of them. Just around 10 p.m., according to a photographer for the Dallas Morning News and other witnesses who have joined us here on CNN, they heard gunshot, at least 20 in rapid succession.

There, you're looking at the chaos as it broke out in Dallas earlier this evening, shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern.

We watched it unfold. We watched officers on the scene in tactical gear. We watched them rushing toward buildings. We watched them putting on their tactical gear. We watch them crouching behind cars and crouching behind brick walls. So these are live pictures now. And this is, again, all earlier moments ago, you can see there's someone on the ground, not exactly sure what's going on. This is new video that has happened moments ago.

And now, here we are at 11:37 Eastern time where 10 officers now have been shot, two snipers, they believe, from elevated positions did the shooting during the protest. Three officers confirmed dead at the moment. There's still no suspects in custody and there is an intensive search still under way in Dallas, Texas. Do we still have our Ed Lavandera on the phone?

LAVANDERA: Yup, I'm here.

LEMON: CNN's Ed Lavandera is there. Ed, this is your region. Again, you have this new information. Talk us through this. What do you know? Have you gotten any other information for us?

LAVANDERA: We had been given that heads up that this -- obviously, that the news of the death of these officers was going to come as a complete and other shot to many people there in the Dallas community. So numbers of wounded and -- is simply staggering.

If you look at the Dallas police department's twitter feed over the course of the last few hours of (inaudible), the police department is very active on social media, the internet sort of thing, there was actually a -- the Dallas police department was actually live tweeting as the march was going through downtown Dallas. One of the pictures posted there on their social media site also had officers posting with some of the marchers.

So, you know, it's fascinating and heartbreaking to see that those images now kind of juxtaposed with what is unfolding there there. So, you know, Dallas police department throughout the course over the last couple of years that this marches have taken place that this kind of social media is a way for their officers to interact with some marchers and build those rigorously (ph) with the community.

So, obviously, what is unfolded here and it's still a very active situation, is incredibly frightening. And as I'm kind of reading the reports and seeing the areas of downtown Dallas where all of this is unfolding, you know, there are a number of residential buildings that are in immediate vicinity. There's a community college or central community college there as well. There are also areas with popular restaurants and that sort of things as well as many hotels there in downtown Dallas.

So, this is well -- this is unfolding issues a few blocks away from Deli Plaza, obviously where President Kennedy was killed. And all of this is a situation that is very -- where still the parking garages where probably easy for active shooters to hide away. A very difficult situation I would imagine for police officers to control in this situation.

So exactly where the shooter or shooters go from here isn't exactly clear, but also getting people out of that area is a very difficult task.

[23:40:04] This is not too far away, those mentioning a little while ago, not too far away from the main bus station, there in greyhound bus station, there's the Dallas public transportation connections is all through there as well. I understand that those operations have been shut down through most of downtown Dallas.

But this is a very difficult situation to control and I would imagine that the crowd where, I don't know -- or exactly where there newling (ph) of where there was obviously be a very difficult situation if, you know, shooter set -- again in to escape the situation or find in that sort of thing to the hideout and there's also have ...


LAVANDERA: ... in the office building an incredible mix of situation there in downtown Dallas.

LEMON: OK Ed, I need you to stay by now. Ed is a Texas native station Dallas. And Ed, as I understand you're on the road now but Ed knows the scene very well there being a Texas native and also being base in Dallas. Stand by, Ed though. I'm going to get back to you. But I want to get to bringing in the former Dallas police officers, his name John Matthews. Officer Matthews, are you there?


LEMON: I understand you're getting information from your sources. What are you hearing?

MATTHEWS: Well, I'm hearing that, you know, still actively they're looking for two suspects at this time, making sure that fourth cop are already of course is public safety. They will safety the officers that are still out there and of the citizens.

They've been establishing multiple parameters and making sure that public safety and nobody else gets shot is the top priority at this point.

LEMON: When you hear Officer Matthews -- 10 officers shot by two snipers, three officers dead, that's the latest information that we have. I mean this has to be just horrific for you as a former officer.

MATTHEWS: Well, it is. You know, to see officers targeted by gunmen, multiple gunmen using, you know, a high-powered rifles or assault rifles, many of the witnesses said they heard multiple shots like assault rifles or rifles simultaneously being fired. And to target the men and women in blue that are out there protecting the citizens they were out protecting the citizens at this peaceful protest is just a horrifically day, not only for Dallas but for the whole country.

We've got almost 900,000 officers out there trying to protect the public. And when they're being targeted, it makes it more difficult for us to protect the citizen we're sworn to serve.

LEMON: What do you think officers around the country are doing now in the wake of this?

MATTHEWS: I hope they're putting their vests on, I hope they're practicing situational awareness. I hope they're making sure that on every single call that they respond to -- keeping officer safety first and foremost in their mind. You know we teach officers that all the time. You can't protect citizens but you can protect yourself. And when officers are being targeted, that is a very, very deadly situation.

LEMON: John Matthews, is a former Dallas police officer talking to his sources. John, don't go anywhere. I just want to update our viewers and then I'll get back to you. This is the latest information we have here at CNN. This all started to unfold at about 10:00 p.m. eastern, just before 10:00 p.m. eastern.

There was chaos on the scene in Dallas from a peaceful -- what was a peaceful rally that turned into chaos as shots rang out. According to Chief Brown, the Dallas police department, it is -- it says "Tonight it appears that two snipers shot 10 -- there it is right here. Shot 10 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 under way. No suspects are in custody at this time. We ask that any citizens with information regarding the shootings tonight."

And there is a phone number up there call that number. Again, only call that number if you're in the area 214-671-3482. And again, this is a shocking situation. So please only use that number if you have information. They're going to provide more information. And then they'll keep they said "Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tonight." John Matthews, if there were ever a truer statement, that's one right there, keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

MATTHEWS: Yes, exactly. We need it tonight and we move forward here.

LEMON: So as you are working there, you worked in the area for years. You're retired now, correct? Or you're a former Dallas officer. You have friends ...

MATTHEWS: Yes. And author of "Mass Shooting, Six Steps to Survival." So my expertise is in mass shootings. And as you saw tonight, you know, we had citizens scrambling for cover, trying to get away from two snipers. And in the middle of downtown Dallas, you know, you hear the rounds being fired, the echos off of the building and people were scrambling for their lives. And unfortunately those that were targeted were the men and women trying to protect them.

[23:45:11] LEMON: What does this tell you, the high powered rifles in this situation. When you hear that high powered rifles from an elevated position, doesn't just appeared to be some angry person in the crowd. Does this appear to be targeted and planned to you?

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes. This is definitely a planned attack with targeted victims we called primary targets. When you're going after specific victims, this was not like the Orlando shooting, even if the assault rifles were used. In Orlando it was very up close and personal.

This is somebody that did not want to be caught, that wanted to stay in a tactical, elevated position, that knew where the parade route was going to be and had a position to pick off officers with these apparent high-powered rifles. So you can tell very early on that this was a bold, calculated and planned attack.

LEMON: Do you still know people within the Dallas Police Department?

MATTHEWS: Oh, I've got many friends. I served there for many years. I've got many friends that are still working the street and out there right now.

LEMON: What are they saying to you, John?

MATTHEWS: What they're saying is that it was a very chaotic situation at first, that, you know, you had the protesters, you had citizen out there, you had officers, their comrades that were falling around them. They were trying to get them to cover, they were trying to protect the public, with their sworn to do.

And, you know, that's what you see. If you look at the coverage, you see the officers taking cover but you see them moving citizens to safety also. And in the midst of chaos when you're being target. That's what they do, they're moving citizens to safety.

LEMON: You know, obviously people added to the population of downtown Dallas tonight because of the protest. How large of an area is this and how many people might there be on a normal night, you know, without the extra hundred or a thousand -- hundreds or thousands of people who showed up for this protest?

MATTHEWS: Well, Dallas has a fairly vibrant downtown district. I mean, they've got residence in downtown businesses, obviously restaurants, bars. They've got people that are down there doing their normal daily activities and routine as well the protesters that where down there and people I'm sure that were watching the protest.

And then you saw a large police presence that was downtown at Dallas police is well prepared for protest and for these kinds of event.

LEMON: OK. Standby, Officer Matthews, please you've been giving us some critical information.

I want to bring in two of my law enforcement expect who are have been joining me here on CNN, Tom Bernie is retired New York City Police Detective and also Neil Franklin is a retired Maryland State Police Major.

Neil Franklin, it just must hurt your heart to hear this when you hear fellow law enforcement tonight as we hear 10 officers were shot, three officers dead.

NEILL FRANKLIN, RETIRED MARYLAND STATE POLICE MAJOR: It does. It does, Don, very much so. It just brings back memories of certain people that I've lost in the past, and one of them is Ed Toatley. Different scenario but still it's the loss of a comrade, someone who's very close. And I know what some of those officers are currently feeling in Dallas right now tonight.

And this is a time right now -- first of all, it's what I feared when I started to hear about these two shootings over the past couple of days and then to hear people on radio shows that I've been on, people calling in, talking about how they intend to push back. And this is one of the things that I greatly feared.

And it's a time right now where we need leadership on all sides of this. We need leadership from our law enforcement community all across this country, we need leadership from our protesting community, we need leadership from everyone who's involved to step forward and just say that we're not going to tolerate violence anymore on either side from either direction. I truly hope that that happens immediately, very, very quickly.

LEMON: Tom, as we were listening to officer John Matthews, a former Dallas Police Officer, he said when you get word from, you know, the chief that it was an elevated position, high-powered rifles in an elevated position, snipers, this is a targeted attack, as a former detective?

TOM BERNIE, RETIRED NEW YORK CITY POLICE DETECTIVE: Yeah. I mean clearly -- and as we talked about before, we had instances like this, we had here in New York after the protest that happened there at corner (ph) and two officers were assassinated in their cars.

[23:50:01] There are going to be people in our society that they're not going to want to wait for investigation go forward even the facts to come out and for officers need to be disciplined, fired or put in jail, they're going to take law into their own hands and feel like they need to exact some sort of street justice.


LEMON: I hope that it is not. We don't know for sure if it is ...

BERNIE: Well, it sure seems that way. I mean -- I'm hoping it wasn't. But as you use saying this is my greatest fear too, with these two shootings. And listen, my condolences go out to the family, the both families of the man that were just killed.


BERNIE: These two police related incidents. It is horrible thing to have to die as a result of in direct of the police. The people cooler heads need to prevail here

LEMON: Agreed.

BERNIE: On all sides.

LEMON: So that, I mean I have to say that in the fact that it did happen at a protest lends want to believe you know in the direction that you're saying. But we still we don't know that for sure. Who is saying yeah, there is that John, or is that Neil?

FRANKLIN: No. But that's absolutely true. We don't have all of the facts yet. These two have not been apprehended and we hope that that occurs soon, but we don't know who they are. We don't know what their motives are. We don't know what their plan is.

So we -- unfortunately, we still have to wait and we have to wait and like I said before, people need to step up, step forward, so that we can get our arms around it.

LEMON: The governor of Texas releasing a statement tonight, Governor Abbott, saying our thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas law enforcement community and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers killed and injured this evening. I have spoken to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and have directed him to offer whatever assistance to the city of Dallas that needs at this time. In times like this, we must remember and empathize with the importance of uniting as Americans. Again, and that is coming from the governor of Texas, John Abbott there

So I want to bring in now, here is Andre Felix. He is hiding in the crown plaza in Dallas, Texas. So you're hiding in the hotel. What instructions that you been given? And, are you there?

ANDRE FELIX, EYEWITNESS: Yeah, I'm here. Hey yeah, basically what we've been told is that we can't, we can't leave, we can't go anywhere. They're on lockdown. We also have some folks that we don't even really know. They heard the shots, they came running inside. They pushed everybody to back car, to the basement and so now we're just sitting in a room. And as I mentioned earlier, we actually have a photo of what we believe is a potential suspect. The detectives are on their way up to speak to the person to stuff now. And we're been the Crowne Plaza for the last two or three hours. We're actually in the lobby. It was my mom -- me and my mom were in the lobby when the shots rang out. The security guard for the Crowne Plaza came running inside and ordered everybody to the basement and that is where we've been ever since.

Well, they just let us come out about an hour ago, back to our room and they locked everything down. We just kind of have been sitting here, so stay away from the windows and everything, so ...

LEMON: We're being told a number of guests from different hotels as well had been told the same thing. So you're in the basement of the hotel, correct?

FELIX: Well, we were. Now they let us come back up to our rooms but there is no movement and so now I'm just kind of waiting on the Dallas, Texas detective to come because we spoke to them. So they're on their way up because we have, you know, some pictures.

What happened was we were at the protest and there was a guy in front of us wearing camouflage and black shorts. That they have been on there -- new that they, you know, we're looking for. The guy actually had some kind of AR-15 rifle or something hanging from him so we're all like, oh I wonder why he has that weapon or, and I actually thought it was fake. But now with everything going on and, you know, knowing who the police is looking for, we really believe that this is the guy, so they're coming up now to speak with us and everything.

LEMON: And you have pictures of that. Again, a lot of people are talking to me. I think that they called the Governor John Abbott. It is Greg Abbott. Pardon me but again there's a lot going on here.

So Andre Felix is in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. And he is -- well, they were being kept in the basement. Now they're being allowed to go back up to the rooms. And John, Andre, excuse me, is telling us that he was in the crowd, saw someone with an AR-15 and that law enforcement is coming up to talk to him now because they believe he maybe someone who is involved in the shooting.

So take us back to the time. You were walking, you see this man and what happens, Andre?

FELIX: Well, we started walking, we see the guy. My mom actually took the picture of the guy, and then he basically walked off. We didn't see him no more in the crowd.

[23:55:06] And so, we walked in the protest for about an hour or so and then after that, we come back to the room and we're going to get something to eat and go back out. Well, as we were sitting in the lobby, talking to one of the hotel workers, we just hear, you know, several shots rang out like directly in front of the hotel and all of a sudden, we just seen the valet and security come running from inside and they say everybody lockdown. We ended up, like I said, going to the basement and we were down there, about 15 of us. LEMON: What does he look like? What does he look like?

FELIX: Say that again, I'm sorry.

LEMON: What did he look like?

FELIX: OK, he's a black guy. He looked like he might be in his mid to late 30s. He was definitely wearing camouflage. He had on, like, black pants, black shoes. And he had, like, a shoulder case for the gun that he was carrying and it was pretty big.

LEMON: But you're not sure -- do you? He could have been law enforcement, no?

FELIX: I don't think he was law enforcement. He wasn't dressed in law enforcement attire. It was kind of like, you know, a bystander in the crowd with his weapon.


FELIX: And so we're not from here. We're from Illinois. So we don't know the laws in Texas. So we thought that was normal so that's why we, you know, we didn't alert police or anything because we didn't know.

LEMON: OK. I need you to standby, Andre. Don't go anywhere. Andre is hold up in a hotel and is talking to police about a suspicious person that he saw in the crowd. By the Dallas Police Department is now tweeting out. This is one of our suspects. If we go on the Dallas Police Department's feed, this is one of our suspects. Please help us find him.

And it appears to be the man that Andre Felix is talking about. Wearing camouflage and carrying what appears to be a high powered rifle or an assault rifle. Again, we'll get those pictures up. But as we do that, I have some sad news to report here.

This is from the Dallas Police Department. An 11th officer was shot during the exchange of gunfire with one of the suspects. The officer is being transported to the hospital. That is according to the city of Dallas.

So here we go. Andre, you're still there?


LEMON: OK. So here is the picture. This is from the Dallas police department's twitter feed. They are, the Dallas police department, we're putting this up because the Dallas police department is asking for the public's help in identifying this man that you see on the screen there in camouflage with a weapon over his shoulder. You saw this man, Andre?

FELIX: Yeah, that is him. Without a question, 100 percent that we sent -- we sent back of the picture or the back of the guy's body to the police. Where they just somehow found the front of it ... LEMON: Chief David -- I have to cut you off. Pardon me Andre, Chief David Brown holding a press conference. Let's listen.

CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: And give us that information, so we can bring these people to justice. We also believe that these suspects have threatened to plant a bomb in the downtown area. We have reached out to our federal law enforcement partners, both the FBI and the ATF to help us search for both the suspects or maybe it is more and to do a very thorough search of this area where we believe there might be a bomb planted.

Again, I'll quickly take some questions, but I want to remind we got one of the suspects cornered and I need to get back and take care of the business of protecting this city, so.

MIKE RAWLINGS, MAYOR OF DALLAS: Let me finish and then we'll take the questions. OK?

I ask everybody to focus on one thing right now. And that is our Dallas police officers, their families, those that are deceased. Those are in the hospital fighting for their lives. Let's all come together and support our police officers. I've never been as proud. I believe we've got one of the best forces in the nation, and we've done things with civil rights in the right way. And we've done it for the safety of our citizens. So, please, let's come together right now as a city.

Let's take some questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk about the pictures you guys want put out. Who are these people you're looking for in the pictures? They handed a bunch of these out.

BROWN: Right, we wanted to show a person of interest who witnesses at the scene, they were involved in the shooting in some way. So this is a person of interest, as you can see, they're in camouflage and they have a rifle strap slung with a rifle butt sticking up.

[00:00:04] And we know that rifles were used to enter and kill Dallas officers and a DART officer.