A domestic-violence case run amok? As Jazz noted in today’s first post, the headquarters of the Dallas PD found itself under attack early this morning from automatic weapons fired from an armored van. Witnesses claimed that multiple suspects were involved in the shooting, and the placing of at least one pipe bomb, with as many as four suspicious packages found on the premises. The one suspect surrounded in the van has died, according to a report from Fox’s Dallas affiliate:
FOX DFW reporting that suspect dead from sniper shot. #DallasPDShooting
— Kristie (@ConservTXmom) June 13, 2015
That’s still unconfirmed, but other reports state that the suspect had told police he was wounded and had fallen out of contact with police a few hours ago. CBS and Reuters say the name of one suspect matches previous domestic violence cases, but that may understate the threat involved:
Multiple gunmen toting automatic weapons opened fire on officers outside Dallas Police headquarters early Saturday morning, before one man fled the scene in what witnesses described as an armored van, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Police said conflicting witness accounts made it difficult to immediately determine how many shooters were involved and authorities were trying to determine a motive.
Brown said during a news conference that the shootout began about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, when the suspects parked in front of the building located south of downtown and began firing. He said at least one of the suspects fled the scene in a van that rammed a police cruiser before leading police on a chase that ended in an ongoing standoff at parking lot in the nearby suburb of Hutchins, where additional gunfire was exchanged. …
Brown said the suspect driving the van has told officers that he blames police for losing custody of his son and “accused him of being a terrorist.” The gunman also said he had explosives in the van, which appeared to be outfitted with gun ports in the sides.
This clip on YouTube has some raw video of the attack:
At least one of the bombs were real:
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) June 13, 2015
Their robot managed to survive the explosion, and was still in use looking at other suspicious packages, one of which turned out to be innocuous:
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) June 13, 2015
The Guardian and other news sources report that the man gave his name as James Boulware. That name will sound familiar to Dallas residents, as a James Lance Boulware once threatened to do something very similar in Paris, Texas:
Authorities cautioned that they have not confirmed the man is who he says he is. But in 2013, police in Paris, Texas, said they arrested James Lance Boulware after he obtained firearms, ammunition and body armor before threatening to attack his family, as well as churches and schools.
Police said then that he was taken into custody on two felony warrants from Dallas County. However, it appears the case against him was dismissed last year after he fulfilled requirements a judge had imposed.
If this is the same James Boulware, perhaps the judge in that case should look for more suitable work.
Dallas police chief David Brown gave the media a rundown of the threats and the actions taken so far:
The suspect told police that he had been shot, and then fell out of contact with police. That still leaves the question open as to how many accomplices the man may have had — if any. Police haven’t confirmed any other suspects than the one in the van, who may be dead already. They have disabled the van to prevent any further flight or attacks, but as of 8:15 CT, the standoff continues. If there are any other suspects in the van, police aren’t tipping their hand on that information.
The police plan on holding another live press conference shortly. Watch it here:
Update: In the new press conference, Chief Brown announced that the suspect had been shot by a sniper, but he did not confirm that the suspect had been killed although they “believe” he’s dead. They will use robots to set off controlled detonations around the van to gain access to it, as the suspect threatened that he’d rigged the van with explosives. Brown also noted that the suspect took his time in firing during the initial confrontation, clearly intending to kill as many police officers as possible, but fortunately no police officer was killed. “We’re blessed.”
Brown also announced that police now believe that only one suspect was involved in the shooting. The witnesses may have been confused by multiple angles of shooting from the one suspect. Dallas police will continue to investigate any possible accomplices, but for now the evidence shows only one shooter.
Update: One reporter asked why the SWAT team shot the suspect if they had the van disabled. Brown replied that the suspect had shot at police at that scene as well, and threatened to continue shooting from his van. Brown noted that this presented a risk not just to the officers on the scene but also the neighborhood in which the confrontation was taking place.