Reports confirm that the Dallas police headquarters was under fire early this past Saturday morning. Sources claim that the suspect threatened officers with explosives. Self-identified as James Boulware, this assailant’s attack is the latest violent act against police in the United States this year.
CNN details that an armored vehicle parked outside the building was showering the facility with bullets. The bomb squad had to be called in because a pipe bomb had been placed in the parking lot. Officials state the bomb eventually went off while being handled by a robot. Furthermore, reports claim the shooter was believed to have even more explosive devices in his van. CNN confirmed, however, no officers were injured in the onslaught.
CNN articulates that after the shooting, the suspect led authorities on a chase to a restaurant located in a nearby suburb of Dallas. Officials then confirmed Boulware had been shot through the window of his armored van by a sniper. The NBC News report indicates police found several large weapons and more armor at Boulware’s home.
In the case of Boulware, NBC News explain he had a history of mental illness. The attacker thought the police were responsible for taking his son from him. NBC News also makes clear that Boulware had a history of violent acts and speech. They give details that he had been arrested for hurting his mother in 2013, and witnesses have stated he spoke of shooting churches and schools.
Nonetheless, these accounts indicate he blamed the police for his misfortunes and acted violently against them. Recently, there have been numerous news stories of violent attacks against police, James Boulware being the latest.
In October 2014, CNN claimed an alleged Islamic extremist attacked four policemen in New York with a hatchet. Two officers were injured, one in the arm and the other in the head. The two uninjured officers then fired at the suspect shooting and killing him on-site.
December 2014, the New York Times broke the news that two police officers had been ambushed and shot while sitting in their patrol car. The two officers, Wenjian Liu, and Rafael Ramos, were killed in the attack. The New York Times states the shooter was later found dead after an apparent suicide.
Again in December of 2014, CBS Boston stated two police officers were attacked by six teenagers. The officers were sent to the hospital after the teens beat them by punching and kicking. In this case, CBS Boston reported all of the teens were captured and arrested for their actions.
The Officer Down Memorial Page shows that on March 24, 2015, officer Michael Johnson was killed in a surprise attack while responding to a suicide call. The page also commemorates Detective Brian Moore. Moore was shot and killed on May 4, 2015 after pulling up alongside a suspect and questioning him about an apparent weapon. In all, the Officer Down Memorial Page reports that 18 officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2015 either by intentional gunfire or by a vehicle.
Vox Explainers clarifies that when officers are killed in the line of duty the majority of the time it is a result of an ambush. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ambush as an attack by surprise from a hidden place.
News reports confirmed Boulware, unbeknownst to the police, opened fire while hiding within his armored vehicle. CNN confirmed witness accounts that this suspect believed the cops had done him wrong by taking his son away from his custody. This is believed to be part of the motive behind the man’s ambush. Boulware’s attack is the latest violent assault on police in the United States reported thus far.
By Megan Hellmann
CNN- Dallas Police HQ Shooting: Suspect James Boulware Killed During Standoff
NBC News-Dallas Police Attack: Suspect James Boulware ‘Heard Voices,’ Mom Says
CNN- Man Attacks New York Police Officers with a Hatchet
The New York Times- 2 N.Y.P.D. Officers Killed in Brooklyn Ambush; Suspect Commits Suicide
CBS Boston- Teens Charged with Attacking 2 Boston Police Officers
Vox Explainers-What We Know About Attacks on Police
Photo Courtesy of The US Army’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Joe Ross’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License