Dallas

A somber mood on DART train the morning after attack on Dallas

Commuters walk alongside a DART train in downtown Dallas Friday morning. Many regular riders apparently stayed away from downtown Dallas after Thursday night’s police ambush.
Commuters walk alongside a DART train in downtown Dallas Friday morning. Many regular riders apparently stayed away from downtown Dallas after Thursday night’s police ambush. gdickson@star-telegram.com

There was more room than normal aboard DART trains Friday morning, as many regular riders apparently stayed away from downtown Dallas in the wake of Thursday’s police ambush.

Trains ran on a mostly regular schedule, but rolled past West End Station, which was inside the Dallas Police Department's roughly 32-square block designated crime scene.

Snipers shot 12 police officers, killing five, and two civilians as a planned protest wrapped up Thursday night in Dallas.

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One of the officers killed worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART. The others killed were Dallas police officers.

DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43, reportedly got married two weeks ago. Thompson had joined the DART Police Department in 2009. He is the first officer killed in the line of duty since DART formed a police department in 1989.

“As you can imagine, our hearts are broken,” DART said in a news release. “This is something that touches every part of our organization. We have received countless expressions of support and sympathy from around the world through the evening. We are grateful for every message.”

Three other DART officers shot during the protest are expected to recover from their injuries.

The bodies of two of the police officers killed near the end of a Black Lives Matter protest march in Dallas left Baylor Hospital early Friday morning.

Riders said there was very little chit-chat about the shootings during Friday’s commute.

"It's very sad and disappointing, but I don't know what else to say," said Joshua Curnia, 22, who works at an architectural firm in the West End. Curnia, a daily DART rider, had to get off the train at Akard Station and walk an extra several blocks to his job.

“I expect the mood at work today will be somber,” said Curnia, a summer intern.

At about 7:30 a.m., a DART blue Line train pulled out of Mockingbird Station near the Southern Methodist University campus. Most of the seats on the train were full, but only a smattering of passengers whispered to each other.

"It's usually standing room only this time of the morning," remarked one man, who was working on Sudoku puzzles on his way to work. "This is light, even for a Friday."

As the DART train rumbled into a tunnel under CityPlace Station on its way toward downtown, the operator announced: “The train will not be serving West End Station. All bus transfers are at Pearl Station, which is the next stop.”

The protest was scheduled in downtown Dallas after the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn.

It was winding down when the snipers opened fire, targeting police.

Staff writer Deanna Boyd contributed to this report.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796, @gdickson

WFAA cameras captured the harrowing scene Thursday night in downtown Dallas when the first shots were fired after the police protest.

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