"We're hurting," Brown said. "Our profession is hurting."

By Greg Hanlon
Updated July 08, 2016 09:20 AM

At a Friday morning press conference following Thursday night’s sniper attack in Dallas, Police Chief David Brown called for peace between officers and the communities they serve.

“We’re hurting,” Brown said of the attack that killed five officers and wounded several others at a Black Lives Matter Protest in downtown Dallas. “Our profession is hurting. We are heartbroken.”

He added, “All I know is this must stop – this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

He described a tense standoff and hours of negotiating between officers and a suspect who was killed. (Police have not specified how many suspects were involved, and which were firing on the protest.)

The encounter took place on the second floor of El Centro College in downtown Dallas, Brown said.

“The suspect said he was upset over Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset over the recent police shootings,” Brown said. “The suspect said he was upset at white people, he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

The suspect also said he was not affiliated with any groups and that “he did this alone,” Brown said.

The suspect was killed when officers used a “bomb robot,” Brown said, adding that reports that the suspect killed himself were not accurate.

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“Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger,” he said.

Brown praised the heroism of officers, saying they did all the right things to protect the people’s right to protest.

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“You see video footage after video footage of them running toward gunfire from an elevated position with no chance to protect themselves. And to put themselves in harm’s way, to make sure citizens can get to a place of security,” he said.

Brown added, “So please join me in applauding these brave men and women who do this job under great scrutiny under great vulnerability – who literally risk their lives to protect our democracy.”

“We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days. Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings praised Dallas police, saying, “This year, we have the fewest police officer-related shootings than any large city in America, so we are working hard to improve – and there is always room for improvement – but we are best in class we feel.”

He said a group of interfaith ministers will lead a prayer vigil at 12 p.m. local time at Thanksgiving Square.

“I would ask that if you are at your home or at your office or at your school, to join us today at noon in that spirit of prayer to bring our city together and our country together to heal wounds and not create them,” he said.