North Texas, and then the entire nation, watched in horror Thursday night as the brutal details of an “ambush-style” shooting of 11 Dallas police officers came into focus.
The attack killed five officers and wounded six others.
The evening actually began with a peaceful protest near Belo Garden in downtown. Dallas PD even posted photos on Twitter of some officers posing with demonstrators who were marching in response to recent police-involved shootings in other states. But after the shots rang out, and the scope of the shooting became clear, reaction was swift.
President Obama, speaking from the NATO summit in Poland, responded at about 4 a.m. Central Time on Friday, saying, "There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”
“Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us,” Obama said of the Dallas officers. “We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”
Of course, it didn’t take long for the response to turn political and ugly.
Joe Walsh, a former U.S. representative from Illinois who is now a radio host, tweeted -- and later deleted -- the following:
“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”
But he followed up that rhetoric with similarly sharp-edged tweets such as this one:
"It's time 4 patriotic Americans to stand up & stand against all the Cop haters - from Obama to the thugs on the street."
Musician and activist John Legend quickly responded, calling Walsh a racist who should be arrested for threatening the president. Legend also condemned the actions of the snipers in Dallas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued this statement Thursday:
“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.”
And on Friday morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted: “Prayers and condolences to all of the families who are so thoroughly devastated by the horrors we are all watching take place in our country.”