Gunman Dead, Four Officers Wounded at Dallas Apartment
A nine-hour police standoff ended today with three people dead, including the gunman, four officers wounded and eight hostages safely released.
Francisco Fuentes, 32, was shot and killed by SWAT officers after they filled the apartment with tear gas and then went inside to arrest him.
"The suspect shot at them," Sgt. Gil Cerda said. "We're not certain if he shot through the door or not. Right now, it's a continuing investigation."
He said police found two other men dead in the apartment, apparently shot by Fuentes before police arrived about 2:45 a.m. following reports of gunfire.
The Meadow Parc Apartments were evacuated and officers began negotiations with Fuentes. Three officers entered the apartment and found four children unhurt.
Police said the children told them that Fuentes was inside a bedroom with a gun. Fuentes shot and wounded the three officers as they entered the bedroom, Cerda said.
Officer Edward Coffey, Sgt. Michael Flusche and Senior Cpl. Michael Patino were taken to Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where they were listed in good condition, a hospital spokesman said.
Over the next few hours, Fuentes released his three children and a woman he held hostage. They were unharmed. The woman's relationship to the man was not immediately clear.
Police were still trying to determine a motive and were questioning the woman, Cerda said.
Two SWAT team officers were seen taking a little girl out of the apartment and into a police car about 11:30 a.m.
A few minutes later, two loud blasts were heard as police shot tear gas into the apartment. Several shots were fired and then police were seen carrying an officer to an awaiting ambulance.
Officer Douglas Brady was hospitalized at Methodist in serious condition, Cerada said.
Police earlier said the initial officers who went into the apartment saw the body of at least one man on the floor. At least two men, including Fuentes, lived at the apartment, Cerda said. The identities of the two other killed were not released.
Neighbor Darrell Davis said Fuentes had lived at the apartment for a few months but he didn't really know him.
"He seemed just like a regular person," he said.
Davis said he was awakened by the gunfire.
"I heard three big gunshots. About 10 minutes later, the police came, knocked on doors and said that we had to 'get out, get out now,"' Davis said.
"When they found the gunman in there, there were about three shots from a big gun and we all ran for cover," he said.. The fourth officer who was injured later was identified as officer Douglas Brady. Their ages were not available.
Video on this incident (from NBC5-TV News in Dallas) is availiable at this URL:
Still images (from NBC5) are available here:
Source: Associated Press; NBC5-Dallas; CNN