Police quickly ended a potential siege at a children’s sports camp in the Dallas area Monday when they fatally shot a gunman who had opened fire inside the complex, but did not injure anyone.
The unidentified man appeared to have fired twice in Duncanville Fieldhouse, a youth sports and training venue in the city of the same name about 13 miles south of Dallas, police said.
The armed suspect entered through the complex’s main lobby doors and was confronted by a staff member who exchanged gunfire with him, Duncanville Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Stogner said at an afternoon news conference.
The alleged gunman then went to what was described as a classroom filled with children and opened fire from outside after he was unable to get in, the assistant chief said.
Beginning with the first sounds of gunfire, children at the complex were moved into a “safe area” that was then locked, steps staffers were trained to execute in active shooter situations, Stogner said.
The suspect moved to the main gym, he said, where there were still children present, but no shots were fired, at least until officers arrived and engaged in the firefight that killed him.
Camp counselor Naomi Rodgers told NBC affiliate KXAS of Dallas-Fort Worth she was in the classroom, filled with children ages 4 to 6, when it became a focus of the suspect.
Dispatchers began receiving 911 calls at 8:43 a.m. about a person with a gun at the Duncanville complex, where an estimated 250 children were attending camps, authorities said.
Monday’s incident unfolded nearly three weeks after a gunman broke into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 350 miles southwest of Duncanvile, and killed 19 children and two teachers.
Stogner was asked about what went right with his officers’ response at a time when the law enforcement strategy in Uvalde was being probed by state and federal investigators.
Nonetheless, officials will review the safety protocols followed at the venue Monday to see if mistakes were made or if improvements can be instituted, Duncanville City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides said at the afternoon news conference.
Police in Uvalde are under intense scrutiny. The killer there remained in a locked classroom with victims for more than an hour before a tactical unit from federal law enforcement entered and fatally shot the gunman.
And nearly one month ago, a white gunman motivated by hate and dressed in tactical gear killed 10 people at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in western New York, officials said.
Before suspect Payton Gendron, 18, opened fire at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, he is alleged to have posted a 180-page document revealing plans to attack Black people while citing the racist “great replacement theory” — which falsely says white Americans are being supplanted by nonwhite people through immigration, interracial marriage and, eventually, violence.
source: NBC News