One man is likely dead after he attacked police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, early Saturday in an armored van carrying a weapon and explosives, filling the air with the sound of gunfire and riddling the building with bullet holes, according to police statements and eyewitness accounts.
The attack and subsequent standoff lasted for several hours until SWAT snipers shot through the front windshield of the man’s van at about 5:05 a.m. local time. It’s not clear what triggered the shooting, though officials said the goal is always a “peaceful resolution.”
The man claimed his van was rigged with explosives, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at a news conference.
There were no other injuries.
“We barely survived the intent of this suspect,” Brown said.
Police had been negotiating with the suspect for some time, Brown said, after disabling his vehicle at 4:30 a.m. in a parking lot several miles from where the assault on headquarters began.
“At some point, negotiations just ceased … on his end,” Brown said. Police said they have no confirmation on a possible motive.
The man – who police said identified himself as James Boulware, though they have not confirmed that identity – began his assault at about 12:30 a.m., but fled the scene, striking a patrol car, as officers arrived. Crime scene photos posted by police on Twitter show damage to both the building and patrol cars.
Police initially believed more than one suspect may have been involved in the attack, but said later Saturday morning they think only one man was responsible.
Police also worked for several hours to secure the area after they said they found five suspicious packages – including two explosive devices which have been detonated.
In a news conference Saturday morning, Chief Brown said they believe the suspect intended to kill multiple officers. That none were injured wasn’t just luck, but a blessing.
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