U.S. News

Dallas police attack: Suspect shot by sniper, believed to be dead, chief says

F. Brinley Bruton

A suspected gunman who ambushed Dallas police headquarters Saturday morning was shot and is believed to be dead, the city's police chief said.

SWAT snipers struck the suspect through the windshield of his van in the Dallas suburb of Hutchins during a standoff in which no officers or civilians were hurt, Police Chief David Brown told reporters.

But because officers found bags with explosives that had been "spread out all over police headquarters," police were not approaching the van, he said.

"The suspect, during negotiations, expressed that the van he was traveling in was rigged with explosives," Brown said. "Our officers are not approaching that vehicle, but instead, our bomb technicians are deploying the robot and plan to detonate specific areas around the van to ensure that it's not rigged to explode."

#breaking As the Explosive Ordinance Robot attempted to move one of the bags @DallasPD HQ, the bag exploded on its own #DallasPDShooting

Earlier, based on eyewitness accounts, police said that up to four gunmen may have been shooting at the headquarters with automatic weapons at around 12:30 a.m. CT (1:30 a.m. ET).

At a press conference later Saturday morning, Brown said police believed just one suspect — who shot from different locations — was involved.

Police returned fire and the suspect got into what witnesses say was an armored van, which rammed a patrol car and then raced off, Brown said. Officers gave chase and followed the van to the parking lot of a Jack in the Box eatery in Hutchins, where they later "disabled" the van.

A sniper with a .50 caliber rifle shot twice at the vehicle's engine and then a third time through the windshield, hitting the suspect, police said.

The suspect identified himself as James Boulware to police, although officers had not confirmed his identity. Brown said officers needed to check the suspect's fingerprints once they were able to get into the van to verify his identity.

"We believe this suspect meant to kill officers," Brown said.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation, he added, and said that police headquarters has been turned into a "complex crime scene." No other suspicious packages were found at the seven other police patrol stations across Dallas.

We are advising all of our surrounding LEO Depts to search their facilities for devices and not to touch them. #DallasPDShooting

Residents described hearing shots rattle through their neighborhood during the incident.

"I woke up to gunfire," recent college graduate Joshua Guilbaud, 25, told NBC News. "It sounded like the gunfire was inside my building. The first thing I did was lock the doors, and I woke my roommates up."

"I just came here to progress in my career," Guilbaud added, and "never expected to be in a situation."