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Suspects Open Fire Outside Dallas Police Headquarters

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The New York Times

Suspects Open Fire Outside Dallas Police Headquarters


JUNE 13, 2015

DALLAS Gunmen attacked the police headquarters in downtown Dallas from inside an armored van early Saturday morning, shooting at officers and leaving bags filled with pipe bombs around the building in a brazen overnight assault that led to a standoff that is continuing.

Police officials said no officers were wounded or killed in the attack, which began outside police headquarters and spread to the parking lot of a restaurant in a nearby suburb after the vehicle fled from the authorities. Officers fired at the vehicle with 50-caliber rifles and disabled it.

The attack started at about 12:30 a.m. outside the police headquarters when witnesses told the police that multiple suspects inside a van began shooting at officers and rammed a police vehicle. The shots struck parked patrol cars but no officers.

The police pursued the vehicle as it sped south of Dallas to a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant parking lot off Interstate 45 in the suburb of Hutchins, a 10-minute drive from downtown. Officers and the suspects exchanged gunfire in the parking lot, but negotiations followed.

At some point during the attack and standoff, one of the suspects identified himself to the police as James Boulware, who lives in Paris, Tex.

The suspect has told our negotiator that we took his child and that we accused him of being a terrorist and that hes going to blow us up, and then cut off negotiations, Mr. Brown told reporters at a predawn news conference. We cannot confirm a motive at this time.

Two explosive devices were found outside the headquarters, including one that was left under a police vehicle and later detonated, the authorities said.

Photographs posted on Twitter by the police department showed bullet holes puncturing and cracking the glass windows of the entrance to the headquarters.

This story is developing on social media as the Dallas Police Department is tweeting the events as they unfold. Heres a collection of the latest updates:

Maj. Max Geron said that one explosive left under a police vehicle had been detonated with no injuries, and that a SWAT team had disabled the armored vehicle driven by the suspects.

The confrontation continued throughout the morning as specialists worked to locate and defuse a number of explosives described by the police as pipe bombs that they say the suspects had left around the scene.

Several observers uploaded video of what appears to show police officers exchanging gunfire with the suspects, who then rammed a police vehicle with the armored car. No officers were injured in that confrontation, according to the Dallas Police.

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The suspect identified himself as James Boulware, although police had not confirmed his identity. He accused police of "taking his son," Brown said.

"A SWAT team has begun negotiations with the suspect," he said. "We're talking to him by cellphone and trying to find peaceful solution.

No police had been injured in the assault, he said. There could be up to four suspects who used automatic weapons, according to Brown.

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A van used in the attack of a Dallas police department on Saturday was allegedly sold in Newnan.

The Dallas Morning News reported the van had a Georgia license plate and online records indicate that Jenco Sales Inc. of Newnan sold a similar vehicle on eBay for $8,250.

In an online ad on Facebook, the vehicle is described as a Zombie Apocalypse Assault Vehicle:

"This full armored zombie busting vehicle features convenient gun ports so no zombie juice touches you during a mass zombie take down. It also has benches in the back so you can take turns resting during long Zombie sieges. The tactical step boards are installed for when you only need swords and axes for drive by mow downs. The bumpers are made of reinforced steel tubing, so no dents from smashing zombie heads! It’s full armor plated and has bullet proof windows just in case you run into other zombie hunting hordes who might try to take this bad boy from you. Like anything, there is a price attached to this fine piece of zombie fighting machinery.

There was no posting of the vehicle on the company’s Facebook page by late morning Saturday.

Authorities from the Newnan Police Department said none of the investigating agencies have reached out to them as of Saturday.

“We’ve not been contacted by anybody local or out of state for assistance in this because it’s ongoing and unfolding as we speak,” said Lt. Mark Cooper. “Those kind of contacts typically would be made by an investigator a day or more after the incident.” Cooper also said that legal, private sales of vehicles are not tracked by the police department outside of an investigation.

In an earlier news conference, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the suspect had identified himself as James Boulware and told police that he blamed them for losing custody of his son and “accusing him of being a terrorist.”

After announcing police had shot the suspect, Brown said investigators were still trying to confirm his identity, pointing out that the suspect could have been lying about his name earlier.

Coweta County Sheriff’s Office say they have no record of a James Boulware in their system.

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