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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma leaders are sending their thoughts and prayers south of the Red River following a violent attack on police officers.

The Dallas mayor’s office says 12 officers were shot during  a peaceful protest in the downtown area.

Five died from their injuries and seven others are recovering.

Just hours after the shooting, Oklahoma officials began offering their condolences to the families and police departments involved.

“My prayers are with the Dallas community impacted by Thursday’s unspeakable violence and with the families of the police officers that were killed. Our country was founded on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and our government was established so that these freedoms, and its citizens, would be protected. Police officers upheld their pledge to protect and serve by running into harm’s way last night to shield peaceful protestors, and those are the powerful images I hope the media will focus on today. We need to be talking about healing our nation and not dividing it. Please join me in thanking a police officer today and showing them our support,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.

“Today is a sad day for Dallas, for all of America’s cities, and for the nation.  Last night, five brave police officers were killed and seven more were wounded as they protected the constitutional rights of protestors to demonstrate, in this case against the actions of police officers in other cities.  Two civilians were wounded as well.  America’s mayors send their condolences and their prayers to the victims and their families, and to the entire Dallas community.

“Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief David Brown have been a constant and a calming force since this tragedy occurred – keeping the public informed, reminding us of the risks our police officers face every day, and leading their community through a devastating time.  As Mayor Rawlings said of the police this morning, “putting their lives on the line is no hyperbole.”  America’s mayors recognize and respect the risks our police officers take every day and the bravery they exhibit.

“From all reports, the Dallas Police Department did everything right.  There was no inappropriate show of force, the demonstration had been peaceful and was winding down, and there were positive interactions between the officers and the demonstrators.  Police officers lost their lives at the hands of several bad actors, and we’ll know more about what happened as the investigation unfolds.

“Last night’s demonstrations were a response to the tragic police shootings in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights.  Officials in both of those communities have moved quickly to ensure that these questionable shootings are independently and thoroughly investigated.  At this difficult time for these two cities, our thoughts and prayers are also with Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden and Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom and their communities, and, of course, with the families of the two men who were killed,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dallas today,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “As we mourn this senseless tragedy, I stand with our law enforcement officers and their families. The men and women who protect and serve our communities put their own wellbeing on the line everyday so that we can enjoy safe and productive lives. This is a time for us to come together because misplaced hate and violence will only divide our country further.”