As Thursday’s deadly attack unfolded in Texas, with snipers injuring six people and killing five Dallas police officers, the scene was one of chaos and confusion. Three suspects are now in custody. A fourth is reported to be dead. The identities and motives of the perpetrators still remain under investigation.
Amid the confusion, a man in a camouflage T-shirt briefly became one of the most sought individuals in the United States.
Late Thursday, the Dallas Police Department sparked a manhunt for Mark Hughes though a Twitter post, writing, “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!”
Hughes was openly armed, though footage of the march before the snipers began firing shows him walking without incident among protesters. A woman who was recording the protest, Shantay Johnson, told the Dallas Morning News he had given her a high-five.
“He just gave me a high-five and smiled and left, that’s all,” she said to the Dallas Morning News. “I didn’t see no gun.”
He had displayed the rifle at the march in Dallas because, as an attorney would later say on his behalf, Hughes is a staunch believer in Second Amendment rights. His brother, a social activist and Black Lives Matter protest organizer, had planned to give a speech, according to Hughes’s Instagram account.
Shortly after the first shots rang out, his brother, Cory Hughes, approached police to see if he could assist them. Upon receiving a phone call that he was a person of interest, Mark Hughes said, he handed his rifle over to the police, who questioned him and then released him. A Facebook video shows Mark Hughes unslinging his gun and giving it to officers, encouraged by his brother. Texas permits open carry of long guns like Hughes’s rifle.
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