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DALLAS — People gathered in small groups on Dallas’ tense, police-filled streets before dawn early Friday struggled to fathom the still-unsettled situation.

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Resident Jalisa Jackson says: “I think the biggest thing that we’ve had something like this is when JFK died,” evoking the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the city’s streets. She calls it “surreal.”

Police said at least four suspects were involved in the killings of five police officers just hours before. The suspects were not immediately identified.

Downtown, officers crouched beside vehicles, SWAT team armored vehicles arrived and a helicopter hovered overhead.

Eleven Dallas officers were shot Thursday night during a peaceful protest over this week’s fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota in what the city’s police chief characterized as a sniper attack.

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