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Gunmen Target Police in Several US States

  • VOA News

A Dallas police officer guards the scene of last night's shooting as investigators work in downtown Dallas on July 8, 2016.

A Dallas police officer guards the scene of last night's shooting as investigators work in downtown Dallas on July 8, 2016.

As the United States reflects on the killings of two African-Americans by police and the deadly ambush on officers in Dallas, a rash of police shootings in the last few days left two people dead and multiple others wounded in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.

None of the incidents reached the scale of the shootings in Dallas, Texas, where one gunman killed five police officers — the deadliest attack on officers since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

It remains unclear the extent to which the shootings were related to the killing of the two African-Americans by police in separate incidents earlier this week. But the incidents underscored the high-level of tension between law enforcement officers and many black citizens.

The latest reported shooting happened early Saturday when two officers were on routine patrol in southeast Houston when they saw an armed African-American man standing in the street.

According to Houston Police Department spokeswoman Jody Silva officers stopped their vehicle and shouted at the man to put his gun down.

Law enforcement personnel investigate a mass shooting scene after an attack that killed and wounded Dallas police officers, in Dallas, Texas, July 8, 2016.

Law enforcement personnel investigate a mass shooting scene after an attack that killed and wounded Dallas police officers, in Dallas, Texas, July 8, 2016.

Silva said the suspect had a revolver pointed "straight up towards the sky" before he pointed the gun at the officers.

"It is there that it stops. It wasn't as if he was putting on the ground. ... But he pointed directly at officers," she said.

The officers fired numerous times. The unidentified man died at the scene.

Silva said internal affairs along with the Houston District Attorney’s Office will conduct separate investigation.

Tennessee shooting

Authorities in Bristol, Tennessee, said Thursday that a man opened fire on a highway because he was "troubled" by the shootings involving black people. The man killed one person and wounded three others, including a patrol officer.

Authorities say police responded by returning fire, wounding the suspect, who is now being treated at a local hospital. No charges have been filed yet.

Another law enforcement official in Valdosta, Georgia was shot multiple times. One of these shots hit the police officer in the abdomen, below his bulletproof vest.

"He is out of surgery now....and I’m happy to report he's going to be fine. He's in stable condition, but he's in the ICU as a precaution," Valdosta Police chief Brian Childress said.

FILE - Roswell Police officers stand guard next to his patrol car in Roswell, Ga., Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

FILE - Roswell Police officers stand guard next to his patrol car in Roswell, Ga., Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

In Roswell, Georgia, a gunman in a passing vehicle shot a patrol officer. According to police, the 21-year-old suspect opened fire but did not hit the officer, who chased the suspect and arrested him.

The officer "jumped right into action and did a great job chasing this guy down and catching him," Roswell Police Detective Zachary Frommer said.

Missouri suburb

Another officer was shot in Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Local news outlets report he was wounded in the neck during a morning traffic stop.

Fox News reported the suspect was arrested after a foot pursuit, and a handgun was recovered. The officer's condition is unknown.

In Selma, Alabama, a police officer was wounded when law enforcement exchanged fire and killed a man who shot his girlfriend after police arrived at the scene.

Officials in Dallas County, which surrounds Selma, said the suspect shot his girlfriend in front of her children Thursday night because "he felt like she came home too late."

The officer's injuries are not life-threatening, and the woman is expected to survive.

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