Saturday, June 13

Breaking: "Explosives found, suspect cornered after gunfire targets Dallas police HQ" UPDATED 6:15 PM EDT

Dallas police were letting an armored van burn fearing possible explosives inside the vehicle. (Photo: WFAA)
Updated 8:15 AM ET, Sat June 13, 2015

Video Source: CNN
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

    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.
    [MORE, including videos]


    Giordanista Heliopoleos said...

    The first question, one which the hoplaphobes in the media won't ask, is where did he get the explosives for the pipe bombs.

    Pundita said...

    And from the early reports, at least, those were pretty sophisticated bombs. At least one of them was packed with shrapnel. That suggests he meant to kill and maim as many police as he could. His entire attack speaks of careful planning. And he knew how to make it look as if more than one person was involved. He knew how to create maximum confusion.

    As to where he got the explosives from, I'm sure all security forces are very interested in the question even if the press isn't.

    The most troubling aspect of the attack was it could pass for a foreign terrorist one. So if the explosives angle is being downplayed in the US press (I don't know, I haven't continued to follow the story) that's probably a big reason.

    I do note from the way the story evolved yesterday, there was emphasis on his mental state. But crazy or sane, he pulled off a terrorist attack on the police HQ of a major American city.

    That's the bottom line.

    Giordanista Heliopoleos said...

    There was a similar attack on the Austin, TX police HQ last November. That was just a guy with a gun, though; no explosives.

    But the explosives does make the Dallas attack much bigger. Only the targets were simular.

    Pundita said...

    link you provided doesn't work but I found the story. It was actually a pretty large attack because he hit four sites -- "AUSTIN (KXAN) — A gunman opened fire at four different buildings, including APD headquarters, the Mexican Consulate and the Federal Courthouse early Friday morning. An officer about to get off duty saw the suspect near APD HQ and opened fire on the suspect who fell to the ground."

    At least from that early report - Nov. 28 updated Dec 2, he might have had an explosive device. "As officers tended to the injured suspect, they noticed what appeared to be an improvised explosive device in his car. The officers dragged the man away from the car and determined he was wearing a suspicious vest. Officers then retreated and called in the bomb squad. During a news conference Friday morning, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the suspect’s car was searched and cleared by the bomb squad.

    The first reports of shots fired came in at 2:21 a.m. For the next 10 minutes, police say the suspect shot approximately 100 rounds around downtown."

    That doesn't indicate whether they actually found explosives. But he did try (and failed) to set the Mexican consulate on fire with small propane devices.

    The attack seems more like copicide.

    But the monkey-see monkey do aspect might have been a factor in the Saturday rampage. 'I can do better than that.'