On what would ordinarily be a bustling Friday, streets were blocked in downtown Dallas. Police officers stood solemnly, keeping watch over the scene of a shooting attack Thursday night that killed five officers and injured several others.
And at a hospital several miles away, family members of the fallen openly wept and hugged one another.
Less than eight hours after the attack, Dallas had not yet begun processing what remained raw grief.
The scene of the attack after a Black Lives Matter rally remained active, with helicopters circling overhead and with a swarm of national media on the ground. Officers accepted well-wishes from strangers, who voiced their support and offered condolences.
But if downtown was the epicenter for the violence, the parking lot of storied Parkland Hospital was the epicenter for grief.
Officers wore a black ribbon over their badges — an international law enforcement symbol to honor an officer killed in the line of duty — and stood guard outside the emergency room where some of the injured officers were taken.
At 3 a.m. Friday, vans arrived to take the bodies of three of the officers who were killed to the medical examiner’s office for autopsies.
As the bodies were brought from the hospital emergency room, officers lined up in formation and saluted, some wiping away tears.
A motorcade of several dozen officers escorted the vans out of the parking lot, and onto a nearby street before the procession disappeared into the darkness.
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