DALLAS — A masked gunman opened fire Monday on a federal courthouse in downtown Dallas before being fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with federal officers, witnesses and authorities said.
Brian Isaack Clyde, 22, was pronounced dead at a hospital following the shooting outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building. Authorities offered no hint of his motive, but FBI agent Matthew DeSarno said there was nothing to indicate the presence of any other shooters or threats to the city.
Clyde opened fire about 8:40 a.m., and law enforcement immediately responded, including three officers from the Federal Protective Service who were stationed at the building.
A bomb squad later examined a vehicle associated with the gunman as a precaution and performed controlled explosions, authorities said. Two loud blasts could be heard.
The Dallas Morning News reported that one of its photographers, Tom Fox, was outside the building and witnessed the shooter opening fire.
Fox said he was outside the building when a masked man parked at the corner of two downtown streets. He said the man ran and began shooting at the courthouse, cracking the glass of the door. The window panes in a revolving door were broken.
A photograph posted on the newspaper's website showed authorities tending to a shirtless man lying on the ground in a parking lot outside the building.
Police closed off several blocks around the federal building.
Chad Cline, 46, who lives near the courthouse, told The Associated Press that a message was broadcast throughout his building shortly before 9 a.m. announcing that there was an active shooter in the area and that residents should stay inside.
Less than half an hour later, another message said there was a potential bomb threat and that residents needed to leave. He, his wife and their two dogs went to a coffee shop.
FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth police on Thursday released body camera footage of officers fatally shooting a man who ignored repeated police orders to drop his handgun.
JaQuavion Slaton, 20, died Sunday of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest, Dr. Nizam Peerwani, Tarrant County medical examiner, said in a statement. One head wound was self-inflicted and the others were from police bullets, and an investigation continues into whether the self-inflicted gunshot wound was deliberate or accidental, Peerwani said.
Slaton was the fourth suspect Fort Worth police had fired upon in 10 days and the second who was killed.
In introducing the video, interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said three of the department's Special Response Team officers had gone to an east Fort Worth address four times since May 6 to serve Slaton with warrants issued by the University of Texas at Tyler police accusing him of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a family member and evading arrest. Slaton could not be found the first three times, but he was found Sunday during a traffic stop, and the Special Response Team officers went to the scene.
"They already knew Slaton had several warrants for his arrest, and from previous encounters they knew, they believed he was currently armed with a weapon," Kraus told reporters and community activists.
Kraus they showed body-camera video of a foot pursuit that showed an object in Slaton's hand that appeared to be a handgun. The pursuing officers are heard shouting, "Gun! Gun! Gun!"
After briefly losing contact with Slaton, officers found him in the cab of a pickup truck.
Officers first approached the truck from behind but moved in front to shield nearby pedestrians from any gunfire, Kraus said. Video showed a semicircle of armored officers in front of the truck, guns drawn, amid shouts of "Put your hands up!"
Finally, one officer shouted, "He's reaching!" Officers opened fire. Even after a call of "Cease fire!" an officer is heard warning that Slaton still had a gun in his hand.
Kraus said Slaton's position in the vehicle and the position of body cameras on officers' chests keep the video from capturing clearly what they saw, Kraus noted. "What is depicted, however, is Slaton not complying with multiple requests to show his hands and Slaton making overt actions which led officers to discharge their firearms," he said.
Kraus said he hoped the release of the video and the briefing would be "a first step" toward building public trust in the police.
Richard Vazquez, precinct chairman for the neighborhood where Slaton was shot, said the video was a good first step but that more video and statements from officers involved need to be released.
"My community is not going to be satisfied until we know more," he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Estella Williams, president of the Fort Worth/Tarrant County branch of the NAACP, also praised the initial release. But she told the Star-Telegram, "I'm hoping there will be some changes. We know there have been lots of shootings in recent weeks and we need information."
News Conference regarding Officer Involved Shooting near 5200 East Berry Street on 06/09/19.
Posted by Fort Worth Police Department on Thursday, June 13, 2019
CORONA, Calif. — An off-duty police officer opened fire inside a Costco Wholesale warehouse store, killing a man who had attacked him and wounding two others, the Corona Police Department said.
Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside assaulted the Los Angeles Police Department officer Friday night while he was holding his young child, the department said in a statement Saturday. The officer fired his gun, hitting French and two of French's relatives, the department said.
French was killed, the department said. The relatives are in critical conditions at hospitals.
The officer, whose identity is being withheld, was treated and released at a nearby hospital, and the officer's child was not injured, the department said.
The officer was the only person who fired shots in the store, the department said.
The shooting prompted a stampede of frightened shoppers to flee the store east of Los Angeles and seek cover inside.
Witnesses said they saw a man with a Mohawk haircut arguing with someone near a freezer section when shots rang out at least six times. The man involved in the argument was killed, Corona police Lt. Jeff Edwards said.
Witnesses said there was an altercation. Shoppers and employees described terror and chaos when shots rang out shortly before 8 p.m. Friday and police swarmed the store.
Shrieks from inside the store were heard on video recorded by shopper Nikki Tate, who had stopped by with her daughter to pick up steaks and lobsters for Father's Day.
Tate said Saturday she was by the meat section when she heard "about six or seven shots." She dropped to the ground and crawled toward her daughter who was at the other end. They huddled until they were able to escape through a side door.
"I saw people and heard shots and my first thought was 'Jesus, is this another mass shooting?'" she said. "I didn't know if this was a random thing or a domestic thing or if this was a mass shooting. Everything was happening so fast, I just wanted to get me and my kid to safety."
In the video, her daughter says, "Mommy, we need to go."
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement Saturday afternoon that it has launched its own investigation of the incident.
Christina Colis told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that she was in the produce area when she heard six to seven shots and hid with other shoppers in a refrigerated produce room. She said her mother saw people injured on the floor.
"I thought maybe someone dropped a bottle of wine, but then I kept hearing shots," shopper Will Lungo told the Press-Enterprise newspaper. "An employee came in and helped us out through the emergency exit."
Witnesses told KCAL-TV that shoppers and employees rushed to the exits. The station reported that more than 100 people were outside the store at one point. Left behind inside the store were purses, cellphones and backpacks from panicked shoppers, Corona police said.
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas sheriff's sergeant who died shortly after being found in his car with head injuries apparently suffered a medical emergency and wasn't shot, as deputies initially suspected, authorities said Saturday.
The Tarrant County medical examiner's office determined that Sgt. Keith Shepherd suffered a pulmonary embolism. After falling, he was able to make it back to his own car where he was found Friday evening by colleagues who searched for him when he didn't return from his break during a shift at the county jail.
Deputies initially thought he had been shot, leading law enforcement personnel to swarm the area around the county jail in Fort Worth.
But Fort Worth police, who are leading the investigation, said earlier Saturday that there was no evidence that a shooting occurred.
"We've just got to follow the facts until we understand what happened," Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn said in the hours after Shepherd was found.
It was initially believed that a suspect may be on the loose, but Waybourn had cautioned that there was no apparent ongoing threat to the public.
"We're going to take it one piece at a time and see if we can find the answers," he said.
Investigators found blood inside and outside the car, and they had planned to review area surveillance video for insight into what happened.
Shepherd had worked for the sheriff's department for 19 years and was assigned to the jail.
DURANT, Iowa — An unusual circumstance let a speeding drunken driver avoid a trip to jail after her recent arrest in this small eastern Iowa town: the sheriff isn't honoring arrests made in Durant.
Saying he cannot rely on the truthfulness of officers in the farming community of 1,800 people about 165 miles (265 kilometers) east of Des Moines, Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington has declared that his jail will not book any suspects whom they arrest for the foreseeable future. He has barred Durant officers from setting foot in the county law enforcement center and ordered his own deputies to not base any arrests on the observations of Durant officers.
Wethington's directive, issued last month, has won him praise from residents, who see it as a rare public stand against police misconduct by a law enforcement official. But it has escalated his long-running feud with Dawn Smith, chairwoman of the Cedar County Board of Supervisors, whose husband, Robert Smith, is the Durant officer at the center of the sheriff's allegations.
Wethington said the main problem is that Robert Smith, one of the town's three full-time officers, has a history of being untruthful, using questionable force and generating complaints about his harsh demeanor. And Durant's police chief, he says, is aware of the problems but hired Smith anyway last year even though some of them have to be disclosed to criminal defendants.
"I'm not saying they can't do their jobs. I'm just saying that I'm not going to vouch for their integrity," Wethington said in an interview at the sheriff's office in the county seat of Tipton, population 3,200, which is 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of Des Moines. "When you allow somebody to bring a suspect to your jail, you are saying 'I believe this officer is credible and that there is probable cause this happened.' That's not the case here."
Robert Smith retired from the Iowa State Patrol last year after a 30-year career and then was hired by Durant, where his wife previously served as mayor and one of her supporters is the police chief. Dawn and Robert Smith said that he left the patrol in good standing; a patrol spokesman had no immediate comment.
But court records show that the Cedar County prosecutor's office routinely discloses to criminal defendants that Smith's truthfulness as a witness may be called into question by issues that surfaced during his job as a trooper. Such disclosures are referred to as Giglio notices because they are required under a Supreme Court decision by that name and can be a career-ender for officers subjected to them.
Records detailing Robert Smith's past issues are maintained in a sealed file at the courthouse that defense lawyers and judges have been allowed to review in-person.
Robert Smith declined comment on the contents of the file but said, "My record stands by itself and that's all I have to say." Durant Police Chief Orville Randolph declined comment, citing the advice of the city attorney.
Dawn Smith called the sheriff's move an attempt to get back at her after the two elected officials have clashed on other issues. She said Wethington "chose to target me, my family, my friends and my community" after she looked into his admitted unprofessional behavior at a May 1 meeting of the county's 911 board, which he chairs.
Wethington acknowledged that he used foul language and was "downright mean" to vendors of the county's radio system because he was outraged their equipment isn't working and he demanded answers. However, he says Dawn Smith has made an issue of the meeting only to try to discredit him after she caught wind of his plan. He said their feud "makes it easy" to speak out against Durant officers but that's not why he's doing it.
Randolph, the Durant chief, said his department is continuing business as usual amid the situation. But it is having a real-world impact.
A 43-year-old woman was charged with operating while intoxicated last month after she was pulled over for speeding 24 miles per hour over the limit in Durant and had a blood alcohol level over the limit. A criminal complaint says she was released with a date to appear in court rather than jailed because the "Cedar County Sheriff refused to take defendant."
Calling the situation unfortunate, the chief judge of the judicial district has ordered that people who are arrested in the Cedar County part of Durant can be taken to the Scott County jail in Davenport. If that jail is full, they are to be taken to the Muscatine County jail. Durant, despite its small population, stretches into all three counties.
After they make court appearances, the suspects can then be ordered sent back to the Cedar County jail in Tipton pending further proceedings.
Wethington says that he's willing to accept the inmates at that point since their charges have been reviewed by the court — even though it means an 85-mile roundtrip for one of his deputies to pick them up. In addition to the transportation costs, the arrangement could mean additional hearings for the judges and clerks in Scott County.
The sheriff said the response has been "overwhelmingly good" despite those costs, pointing to social media posts cheering him on.
"I even got an 'I Stand With Warren' hashtag," he said with a laugh.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Armed officers and an angry crowd faced off after a Tennessee man was fatally shot by U.S. Marshals in a working-class Memphis neighborhood.
People in the crowd threw rocks and bricks, with 25 officers suffering mostly minor injuries during the tense clash Wednesday night in the Frayser community in north Memphis. Officers cordoned off several blocks near the scene. By 11 p.m., officers had used tear gas and most of the crowd dispersed, police director Michael Rallings said at a Thursday morning at a news conference. Three people were arrested.
Officers on horseback patrolled the area, and lines of police cars with flashing blue lights were parked along the street. An ambulance could be seen at the outer edge of the scene. A helicopter flew overhead as police cars trickled away. Residential streets were blocked, and a heavy police presence remained in the area Thursday.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Keli McAlister said the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force went to a Frayser home to look for a suspect with felony warrants. Marshals saw the man get into a vehicle and then proceed to ram task force vehicles several times before exiting with a weapon, McAlister said. Marshals then opened fire, killing the man who died at the scene. McAlister did not say how many marshals fired or how many times the man was shot.
One local official identified the victim as Brandon Webber and said he was shot several times in his family's front yard. Family members confirmed to the Daily Memphian that the 21-year-old Webber died.
In identifying Webber on Twitter early Thursday, Shelby County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer said "Every life lost should matter...every single one. How many times will this be ok? It cannot continue to be."
Memphis police officers were called in to help with crowd control as word of the shooting spread on social media. As more protesters showed up, more Memphis officers and Shelby County sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene. The situation then escalated, and officers donned protective riot gear as people threw rocks and bricks. Police cars and a nearby fire station were damaged, Rallings said.
The TBI is called in to investigate police-involved shootings by district attorneys in Shelby and other counties in the state. TBI investigators then give their report to the district attorney, who will decide whether to pursue charges against officers involved.
The police director implored residents to wait until the TBI finishes its investigation before spreading possible misinformation about the shooting. "I need everyone to stay calm," Rallings said.
While police support the right of people to demonstrate, Rallings said "we will not allow any acts of violence."
Passion Anderson, a 34-year-old student, drove her 13-year-old son to the scene early Thursday, after protesters had gone and the scene had calmed down. She grew up in Memphis, but left to Ohio before moving in November to the Frayser neighborhood, a mostly low- to middle-income area north of downtown.
Anderson said she worries about her son's safety every day in Memphis which like other large cities, struggles with violent crime.
"I just want him to see this, know what's going on, to be conscious," she said from the driver's seat of her car, with her son in the passenger seat. "I fear for him all the time."
Beth Musgrave and Morgan Eads Lexington Herald-Leader
GEORGETOWN, Ky. — A Scott County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and mostly paralyzed by a police officer during a Sept. 11 confrontation that killed a fugitive told Kentucky State Police investigators he had concerns about the training of his fellow officers.
“I was more afraid of getting shot by one of the guys that was inexperienced than getting shot by actual bad guys,” said Scott County Deputy Jaime Morales. Morales was shot and paralyzed while police were trying to capture fugitive Edward R. Reynolds, who was killed at a rest area off of Interstate 75.
“Some of the guys did not have tactical experience to be, you know, on the situation. You know, as high stress as something like that is,” Morales told investigators.
Morales’ statements were included in hundreds of pages of interviews, investigative findings and forensic reports included in the Kentucky State Police case file of the Sept. 11 incident. The Lexington Herald-Leader obtained the case file through an Open Records Act request.
Lawyers for Morales said more could have been done to prevent Morales’ shooting.
“I think it’s pretty clear that errors were made,” said Elliott Miller. Elliott and Tom Miller are representing Morales. “We certainly believe the outcome was avoidable.”
The Millers said Morales should be compensated for the shooting that left him partially paralyzed. As of Tuesday evening, state police had not released the case file to Morales’ lawyers.
“We have filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office,” Tom Miller said of the repeated delays in releasing the case file. Attorney General Andy Beshear rules on open records cases.
State police forensic experts would not say which officer shot Morales, the case file shows. The two officers who fired their weapons that night also deny shooting Morales.
But investigating officers’ notes show KSP questioned those results.
Autopsy and other reports show Reynolds was shot multiple times but never fired his weapon.
Morales was one of seven officers who were part of a special-response team, or SRT team, consisting of Georgetown and Scott County sheriff’s department personnel. They were sent to the Scott County rest area in response to a call from a deputy U.S. marshal. Florida colleagues had told the deputy marshal that Reynolds was spotted in the area. The SRT team met the deputy marshal at the rest stop off of Interstate 75. The deputy marshal had spotted a silver Ford Mustang that Reynolds was reported to be driving.
According to the investigative file, the SRT team truck pulled in behind the Mustang. The team left the truck, surrounded the Mustang and called to the driver. The officers who surrounded the vehicle gave verbal commands, such as “show your hands!”
Officers told KSP investigators that Reynolds refused to comply with commands, grabbed his keys and started the Mustang. Some of the officers saw the Mustang’s brake lights and reverse lights come on.
Morales tried to open the driver’s side door, but it was locked. At that point, Morales and Scott County Deputy Jordan Jacobs tried to break the driver’s side door window with their batons while Scott County Sgt. Jeremy Nettles attempted to break the passenger side door window with his baton. Morales eventually succeeded in breaking the driver’s side window, at which point he saw Reynolds retrieve a handgun from between the front seats or the console area.
Morales reported he saw Reynolds load the gun and move the slide as if chambering a round.
Once he saw the handgun, Morales immediately said “gun!” to warn the other officers, according to the case file.
At that point, Deputy Jacobs, Georgetown officer Joseph Enricco and Morales fired their patrol rifles in Reynolds’ direction, according to information presented to a Scott County grand jury.
Reynolds never fired his weapon, police officers at the scene and ballistic tests of Reynolds’ Beretta handgun later showed.
According to information in the files, Reynolds’ autopsy report showed dozens of gunshot wounds “attributed to nine projectiles.”
Reynolds could not have shot Morales in the back if Reynolds never fired his weapon.
Yet, Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton waited until March, after a grand jury did not pursue charges in Reynolds death, before announcing Morales was shot by law enforcement.
Jacobs, Enricco and Morales were the only officers who fired, according to ballistic reports. According to a diagram presented to the Scott County grand jury this spring, all three were on the driver’s side of the Mustang.
In the investigation report, three possible scenarios of how Morales could have been shot were presented. One possibility, according to the report, is that Morales stepped right and diagonally to check on Reynolds before being shot. It is also possible that the officer who shot Morales was moving as he fired his last shot, striking Morales in the back. The third possibility presented was that both Morales and the officer firing were moving at the time Morales was shot.
According to forensic reports, at least two bullet fragments found in Reynolds’ body came from Hornady ammunition, which is issued to Scott County sheriff’s deputies. Three bullet fragments were Federal tactical, which is used by the Georgetown Police Department.
The report said ballistic experts couldn’t identify which officer fired each round found in Reynolds’ body.
KSP forensics experts also would not say which officer shot Morales. Yet, there were clues, KSP investigators noted.
Test fires showed that Federal Tactical bullets mushroomed. Hornady bullets fragmented into several pieces.
“I explained that Officer Enricco’ s rifle was loaded with Federal tactical ammunition and that Deputy Jacobs’ and Morales’ rifles were loaded with Hornady ammunition,” according to the report written by KSP Lt. Claude Little. “I commented that the Federal projectile looked just like the projectile visible in Deputy Morales’ x-ray.”
Yet, KSP forensic experts said they could not make that determination without having the bullet that hit Morales.
Elliott Miller said the bullet could not be retrieved. It is still lodged in Morales’ spine.
KSP investigators asked Morales why he was concerned about the officers he served with.
“Some of the guys did not have the tactical experience to be, you know on the situation,” Morales said. “Also the training was very, like I said we would show up and somebody would say, ‘Oh we need to do this like this’ and somebody else would say ‘no we need to this like that.’ So it was very confusing and changing constantly,” Morales said of SRT training. “And confusing is the most accurate word I can use.”
ALHAMBRA, Calif. — A Utah man was being held Tuesday on suspicion of shooting an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy at a fast-food restaurant, and authorities said he may have killed another man an hour earlier in apparently random attacks.
Rhett Nelson, 30, of St. George, Utah, was arrested by Long Beach police after he went into a church Tuesday morning and called his father back home, sheriff's Homicide Bureau Capt. Kent Wegener said.
"In that call, he referred to committing a murder in Southern California," Wegener said.
The father called police, who stopped Nelson in his car a short time later, he said.
Nelson is suspected of walking into a Jack in the Box restaurant in the eastern Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra on Monday night and shooting Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano in the head.
Solano, 50, was in grave condition and on life support, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at an afternoon news conference.
"This is the part of this job that I don't relish," Villanueva said. "I always dreaded this would happen. It happened way too soon."
Solano, who was waiting for a food order at the counter, "was not wearing anything that would identify him as a law enforcement officer" and the attack appears to be random, Wegener said.
The weapon believed to have been used in the shooting was found in Nelson's car, Wegener said.
Solano's description and car also match those of a man who shot to death a 30-year-old man less than an hour earlier in Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
The man was standing in the just south of downtown when a car pulled up, someone inside said something and then opened fire, Moore said.
Investigators are looking into reports that Nelson may have been involved in other crimes since arriving in Southern California last week, authorities said. They said they didn't know if Nelson had obtained an attorney or why he had recently come to Southern California.
Solano joined the sheriff's department in 1999, left in 2000, worked at the Alhambra Fire Department for a year and was rehired by the sheriff's department in 2006. He was most recently assigned to the custody division, Villanueva said.
CHICAGO — Surveillance video obtained exclusively by The Associated Press shows two fast-moving Chicago police vehicles with their emergency lights on colliding at an intersection, then crashing into a stationary car and killing an 84-year-old retired teacher.
The video was provided to the AP on Monday by a lawyer representing the woman's family. It shows a police van going through a red light and striking another police vehicle. Both then both slam into the family car, killing Verona Gunn and injuring three others.
The Memorial Day weekend collision also injured 10 police officers. Authorities have said the accident involved police vehicles and a civilian car, but couldn't say definitively who caused it because the investigation was ongoing.
The Gunn family lawyer, Andrew M. Stroth, told the AP that the police vehicles violated department rules that dictate officers responding to calls slow as they approach intersections to ensure they can proceed safely. Dispatchers had said there were reports of someone with a gun nearby, which, according to Stroth, is not an extraordinary report for Chicago.
"This was a response to standard call for service and it was not a police pursuit," the family attorney said. "It did not necessitate officers drive in a reckless manner. As a result, the matriarch of the family was killed."
The family car, a Toyota sedan, had stopped as around 10 police vehicles passed through the same intersection before the crash, Stroth said. The car was still idling when the collision occurred.
Accidents involving law enforcement vehicles have long been a public safety concern, both for civilians and officers.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which highlights the risk of police vehicles crossing intersections, said that in most years, traffic-related accidents overall are the main cause of death for on-duty officers, with 564 killed in crashes — including ones involving officers on foot in or by the roadside — from 2005-2016. It didn't include the number of civilian deaths in those crashes.
Stroth filed a wrongful lawsuit in Cook County court Monday, naming the city of Chicago and the two officers driving the vehicles that night. They are only referred to as John Doe 1 and 2.
Chicago's law department said it had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Days before the May 25 crash, new Mayor Lori Lightfoot had announced a stepped-up police presence and an increase in youth programs for the Memorial Day weekend in a bid to stave off violent crime on a holiday that's seen an uptick in shootings in previous years. Stroth said the stepped up presence could have played an indirect role in the accident.
"Part of the reaction by police that weekend was based on the surge of officers in these areas," he said. "It resulted in a complete overreaction by officers responding to calls."
The accident occurred on a Saturday night in Chicago's Austin on the West Side, which Stroth describes as a densely populated neighborhood that should have led officers to be especially cautious.
Gunn's son, Dwight, wrote a letter to Lightfoot and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson last month that called Verona Gunn "the matriarch" of the family who worked for 30 years as a teacher. Two other adults in the car and a 9-year-old were also injured, the letter said.
Dwight Gunn also thanked Lightfoot and Johnson for calling the family to express their condolences and to assure them there will be "a full and swift" investigation.
On Monday night, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department expressed its "deepest condolences" to the Gunn family but couldn't comment on the specifics of the crash.
"Both the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Chicago Police department are independently investigating" the crash, Gugleilmi said.