Armed standoff after shots fired at Dallas police HQ
Just after midnight, a van, described by witnesses as an armored vehicle, rammed into police squad cars at the headquarters then opened fire, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters.
A chase ensued to a nearby suburb south of the city where officers have surrounded the vehicle containing at least one suspect, Brown said, adding that up to four individuals may have been involved in the attack.
He said pipe bombs had been found in one of four duffle bags that were “dispersed throughout the front and side of police headquarters.”
On Twitter, the police department said that one of the bags “exploded on its own” as a bomb disposal robot attempted to move it, and that another device had been found under a police vehicle and detonated.
No police personnel have been injured so far in the standoff, Brown added.
Before the shooting began, the suspects had been parked outside police headquarters, Brown said.
When police approached the vehicle in their squad cars, it struck the cars and at least one person within the vehicle began shooting at officers.
The police returned fire in front of the headquarters, at which point the vehicle tried to flee and a chase ensued, which ended in a parking lot in Hutchins, Texas, where the vehicle was cornered and more gunfire was exchanged.
“Our SWAT team was called. It has since begun negotiations” with one suspect who is communicating via cell phone, Brown said.
Witnesses at police headquarters said there might be more than one suspect — and perhaps up to four — with shots possibly coming from different locations, Brown said.
Police were evacuating the nearby area.
– ‘Active shooter scene’ –
“This is an active investigation, meaning the police headquarters scene is an active shooter scene until we confirm first that there are no other suspects at that scene waiting to ambush officers and we have ongoing discussions with the suspect in Hutchins,” Brown said.
The suspect, who gave his name to police, is affiliated with three different family violence cases if he is indeed who he claims to be.
But “we have yet to confirm this is who we are actually negotiating with,” Brown cautioned.
The suspect told negotiators that police had taken his child, accused him of being a terrorist and that he intended to blow up police.
“We cannot confirm a motive at this time,” Brown added.
The suspect also said that he had been shot, though Brown said he could not confirm the claim.
Several witnesses used their cell phones to film the incident and posted video on social media.
There had been no specific threats to Dallas police leading up to the incident, Brown said.
“We’re confident the area is secure and we’re able to confront any and all suspects who might be lurking to ambush our officers,” Brown said.
But, he emphasized, “we do need more information from the public to continue our work.”
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