Automatic gunfire from an armored van shattered the glass frontage at Dallas Police headquarters before the van sped away, leading police on a chase and standoff with the driver in which the suspect was hit by a SWAT sniper.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said it is not certain yet whether the gunman is dead. He said the suspect had told negotiators that the van was “rigged with explosives” so authorities were being cautious in approaching it.
Brown said a SWAT sniper first shot out the engine block of the suspect’s vehicle and later hit the gunman through the van’s front windshield.
“Since that time, we have sent the bomb robot in … to confirm whether he’s dead,” he told reporters.
Brown said it was “a blessing” that no officers were killed or wounded. He said their were bullet holes in police cars and at headquarters near where officers had been sitting.
Earlier, at police headquarters, a bag exploded when it was picked up by a bomb robot, he said.
Brown said witnesses had initially reported seeing multiple assailants, but now officials believe a single suspect, the van’s driver, “shot from different parts in front of the headquarters.”
The attack began about 12:30 a.m. local time today.
In an earlier news conference, the police and the van’s driver exchanged gunfire before the van sped off and squad cars chased it to a parking lot in the nearby suburb of Hutchins, where gunfire was again exchanged, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters.
Brown said the suspect, a white male, identified himself as James Boulware, but cautioned “that could just be a name.” As The Dallas Morning Herald reports “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.”
The suspect spoke as he was surrounded by a SWAT unit, telling negotiators “that we took his child, accused him of being a terrorist and that he was going to blow us up,” Brown said.
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