Dallas, United States | AFP |
As the deadly shooting rampage in Dallas unfolded, one man was surprised amid the chaos to find out police had identified him as a suspected attacker — and his photo was plastered all over the internet.
The Dallas Police Department ignited a brief manhunt for the camouflage-clad Mark Hughes, after tweeting a photo of him toting an AR-15 assault rifle with the words: “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!”
Hughes was marching in the Dallas demonstration to protest US police brutality against black Americans — with his gun in tow, which he had been carrying legally with a Texas open-carry permit.
“I wasn’t aware that I was even a suspect. Gun shots rang out. We ran,” he told MSNBC.
“It was hours later after I had given up my gun that I received a phone call that I was now a suspect…. I just didn’t understand how I had become a suspect.”
Hughes then turned himself in to police and was released after being questioned.
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) July 8, 2016
When asked why he took his firearm to the protest, Hughes said he was exercising his Second Amendment right — citing the constitutionally protected right to bear arms.
The tweet — retweeted tens of thousands of times — was still visible for hours on Friday on the @DallasPD Twitter feed, but later appeared to have been removed. However, a Periscope video of a press conference still included his image.