Dallas police headquarters cleared after explosives found and shots fired
(CNN) –[Breaking news update, posted at 8:05 a.m. ET]
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.
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.
Former Marine recorded video
The crackling sound of the shootout got the attention of former Marine Rick Birt, who lives near the police headquarters.
“We heard loud noises, my wife asked if I thought they were shots,” he said.”I went over to the window and put one of them up. And we heard more shots being fired, and I turned to my wife and said, ‘yeah, that’s definitely gunfire.”
He got his cell phone and recorded video. After the van fled, police informed him and his wife that they had to evacuate their residence.
“They’ve instructed us that we may be out of our home for a while,” he said.
Police had discovered the suspicious bags right across from it.