Man shot dead after opening fire outside Dallas police headquarters had snapped, father says

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
James Boulware
James Boulware

A man who was shot dead by police after opening fire outside Dallas police headquarters from his parked van had snapped, his father has said.

James Boulware’s father said that his son had strong feelings against law enforcement after he lost custody of his son, now 12 or 13 years old. Boulware spent several hours Friday at his father’s home in Carrollton, a Dallas suburb.

Chief David Brown said the suspect told authorities he was James Boulware and blamed police for having lost custody of his son and for “accusing him of being a terrorist.” But authorities declined to officially identify the man until a medical examiner verified it.

A police sniper shot and killed Boulware in his van early Saturday after, according to Brown, the department felt he still posed enough of a threat. The suspect had told police negotiators that he had explosives in the van.

 “When the negotiation was on, he became increasingly angry and threatening, such that we were not only concerned with our officers there trying to contain the scene being shot by him at a moment’s notice,” but also people nearby, Brown said at a news conference.

His father said he talked about how well his recently purchased van drove. But he also discussed a widely publicised video of a police officer in McKinney, Texas, pushing a black teenage girl to the ground and brandishing his gun at other teens.

Boulware’s father last spoke with his son by phone about three hours before Dallas police said the shooting began.

“Not being able to get a job and the legal system letting him down, (he) finally snapped,” the elder James Boulware told the AP in a phone interview before police arrived to question him about his son. “But I can’t say shooting at a police station is right in any way.”

Officers also found the man had planted pipe bombs outside police headquarters.

Authorities said the shooting miraculously left no one else dead or injured.

The suspect also fired on officers who drove up to confront him, riddling at least one squad car with bullets but not actually hitting anyone. Cellphone video shot from a nearby balcony or roof showed the suspect’s dark-colored van ram a squad car as gunshots rang out.

At one point the man got out of his van and walked toward the entrance to the building firing his gun but turned around.