Dallas police confirm shooter who attacked headquarters is dead

The man who opened fire on Dallas police headquarters early Saturday, riddling the building and a squad car with bullets from an armoured van, is dead, police confirmed.  

They did not say whether he died from being shot by a police sniper during a standoff hours earlier or when police set off controlled explosions of his van at around noon CT. 

Police set off the two controlled blasts after saying they found two pipe bombs inside the armoured van, which the shooter used to launch an assault on police HQ at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. 

"We can now confirm that the susp[ect] in the van is deceased but unable to confirm ID pending med ex[aminer] identification," Dallas police Maj. Max Geron tweeted.

"Lots of shrapnel was included in the pipe bombs that exploded — screws, nails." 

APTOPIX Dallas Police Headquarters Shooting

A Dallas SWAT officer walks to his vehicle at the intersection of Interstate 45 and E Palestine Street, where police cornered the suspect in his van on Saturday. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Police fired at the man around 5 a.m. CT while he was inside the armoured vehicle at a parking lot in suburban Hutchins, south of Dallas, where he had been in a standoff with SWAT team officers.

Police Chief David Brown said a sniper hit the suspect and that officers had lost contact with him for several hours afterward. 

Officers were wary of approaching or entering the van, though, because the driver had declared it contained military-grade C4 explosives, they said.

Geron tweeted that a .50-calibre rifle was used to fire two shots into the van's engine block and one into the driver.

Dallas shooting

The shooter who opened fire on Dallas police headquarters declared himself to be James Boulware, seen here, but police were still working to confirm that. (Dallas County Sheriff's Department )

Hours earlier, witnesses said, the driver fired several rounds at officers outside the Dallas police headquarters building and rammed his van into a squad car before fleeing.

No one was injured in the gunfire.

"This suspect had already shot at our facility, had rammed a car, shot at officers, and two officers narrowly escaped being shot by the suspect," Brown said. "Then the suspect fled in a vehicle. We chased him."

Shortly after the headquarters shooting, police found four duffel bags scattered around the building, one of which had pipe bombs inside. That bag exploded as a robot attempted to remove it, but no one was injured, Brown said. Nearby residents were told to leave the area, he said.

Brown earlier told reporters police were investigating witness accounts that as many as four individuals may have been firing automatic weapons. However, he later said police believe there is only one suspected shooter. He said a motive was not yet known.

"We barely survived the intent of this suspect," he said.