DALLAS (AP) – Multiple gunmen carrying automatic weapons opened fire on officers outside Dallas Police headquarters early Saturday morning, before one man fled the scene being chased by police 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 but estimate there were four. Authorities were trying to determine a motive.
7KTLV reported that 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 “accusing 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.
The Dallas Morning Sun reported that police were continuing to negotiate with a man in an armored vehicle after he opened fire on Dallas police headquarters and led dozens of squad cars on a chase that ended in Hutchins.
No injuries had been confirmed in the attack early Saturday, though the gunman told police he had been wounded.
The man has identified himself as James Boulware, 50, who has a history of family violence and blames authorities for his losing custody of his son, Dallas police Chief David Brown said.
The gunman said he was going to blow up police because they “took his child and accused him of being a terrorist,” Brown said.
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, 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 imposed on him by a court.
The incident began shortly before 12:30 a.m. Witness video showed officers firing on the vehicle as it rammed one of their cars and drove off.
After a chase that included a convoy of squad cars, the gunman’s van was surrounded along southbound I-45 near Dowdy Ferry Road. The highway was shut down, and people were ordered to stay away from the area.
Caught on camera: Shots fired at Dallas police headquarters:
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