A man pictured with what appeared to be an assault rifle at the scene of the killing of five police officers in Dallas has been released from custody and says he was an innocent bystander who was wrongly accused.

Mark Hughes was pictured walking through Dallas with what appeared to be an assault rifle.

He turned himself into police after cops made a public appeal and his family said he was an innocent bystander. He has since been released by police.

Four gunman shot 11 police officers - killing at least five - in downtown Dallas on Thursday night.


Mr Hughes said: 'I can't believe it. In hindsight, with 20/20 I could easily have been shot.'

He said he did not even know that his photograph was being shown on TV and he was being suggested as a suspect.

Mr Hughes said: 'We received a phonecall that my face was on as a suspect and I immediately flagged down a police officer.'

A reporter from KTVT asked him: 'So while the country was looking for you, you were talking to police?'

He replied: 'Yeah I was talking to police, laughing and joking with police officers.'
But he said he was later interrogated by the police.

Mr Hughes said: 'Police officers were lying. They said they had video of me shooting the gun, which is a lie. They said they had witnesses saying that I shot a gun, which is a lie. At the end of the day the system was trying to get me.'

The reporter asked him if he had got an apology from the police.

He replied: 'I said "now you have my face on national news are y'all going to come out and say that this young man had nothing to do with it".'

Mr Hughes said he had not received an apology.

Earlier footage emerged of him handing over the weapon to police.

Cory Hughes earlier told KTVT his brother had brought the weapon - which was unloaded - to the protest simply to exercise his Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

It is thought the gun may have been an AR-15 assault rifle, which is legal to carry in Texas. The weapon has been highlighted recently as it has been used in many of America's gun massacres but has not been outlawed by Congress.

After his brother was released Cory Hughes told CBS11 TV: 'I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now. I'm trying to be strong right now for my family that I know is watching. but I'm crying on the inside because we simply came to be a voice, for those that don't have a voice and we went from being a voice, to being a suspects and being villains and my question is why?'

On Thursday night Dallas Police released an image of Mr Hughes brandishing a rifle as he walked through the city wearing a camouflage shirt.

The force tweeted: 'Please help us find him!'

But a video showed him wandering among panicked protesters moments after gunfire erupted and he was not shooting.

Dallas Police are understood to have said that Mr Hughes was only ever a 'person of interest' and never a suspect.