Snipers shoot suspect in Dallas police standoff

Police chief says suspect does not have links to terrorism and acted alone; bomb disposal robot inspects armored van

Reuters June 13, 2015
Officers gather near the intersection of Interstate 45 and Palestine Street, where police have cornered a suspect in a van on Saturday in Hutchins. PHOTO COURTESY: THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

DALLAS: Snipers shot and presumably killed a suspect in a standoff near the Dallas police headquarters in Texas, officials said Saturday, adding there were no known links to terrorism.

A bomb disposal robot was inspecting an armored van after SWAT team snipers shot through the front of the windshield of the vehicle and struck the suspect, Police Chief David Brown told reporters.

"Because the suspect during negotiations expressed that the van he was traveling in was rigged with explosives, our officers are not approaching that vehicle, but instead our bomb technicians are deploying the robot and plan to detonate specific areas around the van to ensure that it's not rigged to explode," he told reporters.

"So we have a planned detonation occurring at that van," Brown added, noting that the FBI was assisting his department.

But he noted that the suspect, who gave his name to police, does not have links to terrorism and acted alone.

"We have been, from the very beginnings, coordinating with the FBI to ensure that if there were a terrorism nexus, that we'd get that information quickly," Brown said.

"As of right now, we don't have any nexus to terrorism with this individual."

Police had earlier suggested there may have been up to four suspects, but Brown said police now believed that only one suspect shot from different angles and positions.

Earlier, the suspect had shot up police headquarters and placed pipe bombs at the building.

"I believe we're blessed that our officers survived this ordeal," Brown said.

"There are bullet holes in squad cars where officers were sitting. There are bullet holes in the front lobby where staff was sitting.

"Looking at the front parts of headquarters, there are bullets -- a police helicopter inside as a museum piece. It's shot up. The second floor has bullet holes in it. The information desk has bullet holes throughout."

Brown said "we believe this suspect meant to kill officers and took time to discharge that weapon multiple times to accomplish their wanting to harm our officers."

Earlier, the police chief told reporters that the individual identified himself to police negotiators as James Boulware.

The negotiation with the suspect inside the van took place at a fast food parking lot south of Dallas.

Earlier, the Dallas Police Department said on its Twitter account the shooting was first reported at 12:27 a.m. local time and that witnesses said the suspects were inside an armored car.

The Dallas Morning News said dozens of police cars and SWAT personnel pursued the van, which it said was believed to be carrying explosives.

The van could be seen ramming a police cruiser before gunfire rang out and the vehicle drove off, said the paper in a video posted on its website.

Police and the van then stopped on a nearby interstate highway, where officers were apparently negotiating with the driver, the paper said in another video posted on social media in which a police officer could be seen approaching a black van with a flashlight as two other police cruisers pulled up behind the vehicle.


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