Gunfire at Dallas Protest March, Multiple Police Officers Shot

By Chris Ariens 

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The cable news networks have been in live coverage for much of the night covering mostly peaceful protests in several U.S. cities following two police-involved fatal shootings.

Masses, most from the Black Lives Matter movement, had gathered in multiple cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and in downtown Dallas, where around 9 p.m. CT gunfire rang out.

DallasArrestOne or more snipers shot 12 police officers and two civilians from elevated positions. Four officers are dead including three Dallas Police Officers and one from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Fox News was live as Dallas station KDFW spotted a man believed to be one of the shooters surrendering to police (above) around 10:35 p.m. It turns out that person is not considered a suspect.

Fox News preempted Hannity as Megyn Kelly continued coverage in the 10 p.m. hour. At 11 p.m. Shepard Smith began anchoring. Don Lemon is continuing to anchor on CNN and Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC. The networks are relying on Dallas’s formidable local news stations including KDFW, WFAA, KXAS, and KTVT.

Update: A fifth officer has died. A suspect who had been cornered in a parking garage has died. President Obama called the murders a “vicious, calculated, despicable attack.”

The cable networks continued live into the night. Brian Williams picked up MSNBC’s coverage around 12:35 a.m. ET. At 1 a.m., NBC News broke in with an across-the-board special report anchored by Williams, his third time on NBC since his re-assignment from Nightly News to MSNBC.. Until 4 a.m. NBC News offered the MSNBC rolling coverag as an optional simulcast for local stations.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.50.12 AMTexas native, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley is leading the network’s coverage on “CBS This Morning,” and will anchor the “CBS Evening News” from Dallas this evening. CBSN, the network’s digital network, was live all night as well.

In terms of the first reports of the chaos last night, among the national networks Fox News was first at 9:59 p.m., CBSN began reporting at 10:01, MSNBC at 10:23 and CNN at 10:24 p.m.

More: In a morning news conference, Dallas P.D. confirmed the sniper, who appears to have acted alone, was killed when a police robot planted an explosive device near him. The suspect said he was not affiliated with any group, but “he was upset about the recent police shootings” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”