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Police: Appropriate action was taken in Dallas standoff

Even as they said criminal charges weren't likely, police officials and others defended the department's actions during a three-hour standoff

By Tristan Hallman
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Even as they said criminal charges weren't likely, police officials and others Wednesday defended the department's actions during a three-hour standoff Tuesday that put parts of the Victory Park and downtown areas on lockdown.

Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a police spokesman, said officers never recovered a gun from the apartment of the suspect in the 2300 block of N. Houston Street and didn't find any shell casings. He also said it's unclear how or when the window was broken, but responding officers saw the hole in the glass after residents reported hearing gunshots.

Deputy Chief Scott Walton, who oversees SWAT, said Tuesday that police feared that they might be dealing with an active shooter with a good vantage point in a popular area. Police locked down The Perot Museum, the W Hotel, the Dallas World Aquarium and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in response.

Walton said Wednesday that police were only dealing with what they knew  witnesses said shots had been fired, a man was barricaded in his apartment, and his window had a hole in it.

"We handled the situation appropriately based on the information we had at the time," he said.

Chief David Brown, who served for seven years on SWAT, agreed with Walton.

"When dealing with mental health issues with suspects, you really have to be careful because it's such an unpredictable scenario," he said. "I'm just grateful it ended up getting resolved without anybody getting injured."

Police have yet to confirm the man's identity, but neighbors and other news accounts identified him as 38-year-old David Arnold Lamb.

His mother, Margarete, said Wednesday that her son is bipolar and was taking medication. She said she hadn't heard from him recently.

"I just think everything come down on him all at once and he just flipped," she said by phone from her Arkansas home.

She said Lamb "never" owned a gun or was violent. Still, while the standoff worried her, she said she didn't believe police overreacted either and was glad her son was safe.

Others agreed that safety was the priority. Paula Carlson, director of husbandry for the Dallas World Aquarium said Wednesday that police acted appropriately.

"We're grateful that it didn't end up being a tragic situation, and when you have a building full of school children, their safety is the most important, so we're grateful for that," she said.

Copyright 2014 The Dallas Morning News


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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