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Dallas Police Chief Brown Says Security Upgrades May Be Needed For Headquarters

Bill Zeeble
This was one of several cars attacked by the lone gunman overnight at Dallas Police headquarters. No one was injured.

Dallas Police say increased security is needed at its headquarters and substations after a lone gunman attacked the Jack Evans Police headquarters this weekend. The gunman, killed by a sniper, was the only casualty.

The shooting rampage early Saturday morning shocked police and nearby residents.

“There was tremendous gunfire,” Dawn Mann said Saturday, hours after the incident. She was in a stairwell of the Southside on Lamar complex, where she lives, when she heard the rapid staccato sounds.

Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News
Dawn Mann lives across the street from police headquarters. She heard the gun shots when the alleged attacker shot at police, the building, and squad cars.

“You could see the cops shooting at the armored vehicle. And you knew it was armored because you could see sparks flying from where bullets were hitting.”

A video posted on You Tube shows the van ramming a police car. That’s after the driver allegedly put numerous bullets through the front glass of the headquarters, then blasted a squad car on Lamar. No officers were injured, says police Chief David Brown.  

“Some officers say we’re very lucky, Brown said.  “I believe we’re blessed that our officers survived this ordeal. There are bullet holes in squad cars, there are bullet holes in the front lobby where our staff was sitting.”

Brown expects this unprecedented violent attack will launch serious talk about security upgrades for police buildings across the city.

“This brings a completely new perspective on what might need to happen to ensure that our police officers and people coming to and from our police facilities, uh, we need to rethink and re-look at security measures at all of our police facilities as a result of this incident,” Brown said. 

Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News
Bullets pierced front windows and went well into the police headquarters building.

Such a discussion, he said, could be days or weeks away. Talks could lead to the possibility of eliminating some glass panels, putting in bullet proof glass, or other alternatives. Nothing’s been scheduled. 

Mayor Mike Rawlings made a statement regarding the shooting and improving security measures:

"Saturday's violent attack on our Dallas Police Department further highlights the unpredictable nature of the threats our officers face every day. I could not be more proud of the way Chief David Brown and his officers, our protectors, responded. As the chief said, we are blessed that no officers were injured or killed. We should all be grateful for their service.

In the coming days and weeks, my City Council colleagues and I will begin discussions about enhanced security measures at police facilities across the city. Our Dallas police officers risk their lives daily to keep us safe. In turn, it is our responsibility as elected officials to make sure we do everything within reason to ensure they return home to their families every day."

See photos from the Dallas police headquarters following the Saturday morning incident (Credit: Samuel Hsu)

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.