obviously the shooter was mentally ill -- but not so ill that he couldn't plan a pretty sophisticated attack on the police HQ of a major city. His use of an armored military style vehicle in the attack is particularly troubling to me.
The NBC News report includes a video of his father's very emotional indictment of the mental health systeml, which does seem to have been napping in this case.
The father also said that the son wasn't all bad and that you can't go by one incident in a person's life. Unfortunately this wasn't one incident of violence, and his last act of violence was an attack on a police station that included bombs.
The man suspected of riddling Dallas police headquarters with bullets was mentally ill, according to his family, who once told authorities they were worried he would go on a shooting spree.
The suspect, who identified himself as James Boulware to police, was killed by a sniper inside his armored van in a dramatic standoff with police hours after the ambush on their headquarters early Saturday. Police did not immediately confirm his identity.
Pipe bombs were found around the police headquarters and inside the vehicle.
Boulware's mother, Jeannine Hammond, said her son was mentally ill and "heard voices," reported NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Boulware's family said in a statement that it was "in shock."
"We tried to get him mental help numerous times, but the system failed him, because he was declared 'sane.' He was very delusional. It was very obvious," the family said.
Boulware, 35, of Paris, Texas, had been arrested multiple times. One of the more troubling arrests was in May 2013, when he allegedly choked his mother, strangled his uncle and made threats, including one about a mass shooting.
Police found an array of weapons when they arrived at his home at the time.
"There are four or five long guns and three or four pistols, tubs full of ammunition, and the body armor," said Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said, according to NBC affiliate KTEN.
Relatives told police Boulware threatened to "kill all the adult members of the family and then that's when he made the comment he may shoot up some churches and schools," Hundley said.
Boulware's brother, Andrew, said Boulware viewed churches and schools as "easy targets," since no one inside was armed.
After that, Boulware's mother received custody of Boulware's adolescent-aged son.
"There were 3 family violence cases against this suspect and there apparently was some kind of custody issue, as a result of these family violence issues," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Saturday. "We had no other indication of this suspect threatening police officers or threatening police facilities."
The custody battle made Boulware bitter at authorities, said his father, Jim Boulware.
"He got angry from losing his son, because he loved his son, and he never did anything to his son," Jim Boulware told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
"He did not get justice," his dad said. "He looked at the police as taking his son."
The father said he had just received a visit from Boulware on Friday night, hours before the rampage at the police headquarters. Boulware mowed his father's lawn before leaving at about 9:30 p.m. local time, and his father said he had "no idea" that his son was armed with guns and pipe bombs.
He did, however, take note of the van that his son was driving, which he said his son had just picked up in Georgia.
"It wasn't a normal van, but people do stuff," Jim Boulware said. "They decorate vans to look military, all that stuff."
In their statement, Boulware's family said that he "wasn't all bad."
"He gave $6,000 to the victims of the Japanese tsunami and gave a car he had to a struggling young couple so they could get back on their feet. He would help others when he could, before his mental state deteriorated to the point it was today."
Jim Boulware added, "You can't go by one incident in a person's life."
Doug Stanglin and Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, and WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth
4:33 p.m. EDT June 13, 2015
Dallas police were letting an armored van burn fearing possible explosives inside the vehicle.(Photo: WFAA)
DALLAS — A lone gunman who riddled Dallas police headquarters in a "helter-skelter" rampage Saturday with an assault rifle was shot and killed by a police sniper after fleeing in an armored van, police said.
"We can now confirm that the susp in the van is deceased but unable to confirm ID pending Med Ex. identification," the Dallas police department said on Twitter.
Police waited several hours to declare the suspect dead until they could examine his getaway van, which they feared had been rigged with explosives.
When bomb squads intentionally detonated suspected ordnance inside the van, the vehicle caught fire, setting off live rounds inside, police said. In addition, police found two more pipe bombs in the van that required disposal.
No one was injured in the attack, even though the gunman — angry over a child custody battle — had raked the lobby and second floor of the headquarters from several angles, shattering glass and sending officers scrambling. He also planted pipe bombs packed with shrapnel at the headquarters, rammed a police car and opened fire again before speeding off.
"We are blessed that our officers survived this ordeal," Police Chief David Brown told reporters. "There are bullet holes in squad cars where officers were sitting, bullet holes in the lobby where staff was sitting."
Brown did not rule out any scenario but said police believe there is only one suspect, and that witnesses initially reported as many as four only because the suspect shot from different locations. “It was very helterskelter for a long while,” he said. “This has been a very chilling moment.”
The Dallas police headquarters has been cleared, meaning there is no longer any threat to the building or people inside, police spokesman Max Geron said Saturday morning.
Earlier, police tweeted that they'd found two explosive devices near the headquarters, one of them under a police vehicle. Photos also showed dozens of bullet holes in the building's windows. [see website for photos]
Still, just because the headquarters is safe doesn't mean the ordeal is over. Authorities are engaged in a standoff with one or more suspects after a chase that ended about 13 miles away.
Police tweeted that "Dallas SWAT disabled the suspect vehicle with a .50 cal rifle."
[Previous story, posted at 6:51 a.m. ET]
(CNN) -- Attackers opened fire on Dallas police headquarters early Saturday, then an armored van parked in front of the building drove off and rammed a squad car, authorities said.
Police returned fire, and the van fled with the suspects.
After the attack, police found suspicious bags near the headquarters. At least one contained explosives, prompting evacuations from areas around the police headquarters.
As an explosives robot approached one of them, it blew up, Maj. Max Geron tweeted. No one was injured.
Authorities believe up to four people may have opened fire from various locations with automatic weapons, including from the van, said Police Chief David Brown.
"There might be up to four suspects," Brown said.
Witnesses told police about the nature of the vehicle and the weapons used.
Windows shattered at police headquarters, and bullets pierced squad cars, but no one has been injured.
Police gave chase as one or more suspects jumped into the van, but one appeared not to make it on board on time, Brown said. It's unclear whether that suspect was arrested.
The attackers and officers exchanged gunfire then police cornered the van in a fast food restaurant parking lot near an interstate.
"There is currently a standoff with what appears to be an armored vehicle in the Dallas suburb of Hutchins, Texas, around I-20 and I-45," said Maj. Max Geron.
Security has been beefed up at Dallas police stations and at Dallas City Hall, he said.
SWAT team negotiates
A SWAT team is negotiating with a suspect, who gave the name James Boulware, but police said that they cannot independently confirm that it is the suspect's real identity.
Police found a previous record of domestic violence by a man under that name. The suspect told police that he was angry because they took away his child and labeled him a terrorist.
He threatened to blow them up and broke off negotiations, Brown said.
At police headquarters, officers noticed suspicious bags, which explosives specialists were inspecting. They found pipe bombs in one of them. Later, police reported the explosion of a bag as an explosive ordnance robot tried to move it.