By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It’s become commonplace now. Turning on the news to hear of another mass shooting has become the rule more than the exception, but last week the news hit closer to home in more ways than one.
Last Thursday, near the end of what had been a peaceful Black Lives Matter march through downtown Dallas, a gunman opened fire on the crowd below him. What wasn’t immediately apparent at the time was that the man was not firing indiscriminately. Instead, he was targeting the police officers who had been tasked with patrolling the demonstration.
Chaos ensued, with demonstrators fleeing the gunfire and police attempting to locate and apprehend the shooter or shooters. In the end, five officers lay dead while another nine people were injured, including seven more officers and two civilians. The suspect was killed, as well, after the Dallas Police Department (DPD) detonated an explosive device mounted to a bomb disposal robot.
DPD had been instrumental in planning the route demonstrators marched that day, and in the hours before the shooting, social media was awash with images of officers and demonstrators smiling, talking and working together. Prior to the shooting, no other incidents had been reported during the march, which involved some 800 demonstrators and 100 officers assigned to patrol it.
Local law enforcement officials reacted with sober determination to the news, describing how the event has renewed their dedication to the job.
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