A masked shooter wearing combat gear and armed with an “assault-style rifle” who opened fire Monday morning on a federal courthouse in downtown Dallas was shot dead by authorities — his shooting spree ended before anyone else was injured.
The incident took place outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas, a federal courthouse that houses over 300 employees, including from the U.S. attorney’s office, U.S. Marshals Services, and a passport office. Tom Fox, a photographer with The Dallas Morning News, saw the shooter open fire on the courthouse.
“Fox said [the shooter] fired from the parking lot across the street toward him, another man, a security guard and a woman who was walking a golden retriever,” Dallas Morning News reports. “The windows in a revolving door and two side doors at one entrance were broken. It was unclear whether [the shooter] or law-enforcement personnel had shot the door.”
The shooter, who was wearing a mask, parked at a nearby intersection and appeared to run into the street to pick something up, said Fox. The shooter then began to open fire on the courthouse, cracking the glass door and sending bullets ricocheting off the building.
The FBI revealed Monday that the suspect was a 22-year-old man who was discharged from the U.S. Army in 2017 and has not been the subject of any previous federal investigation (his name is here withheld per Daily Wire policy). Neither FBI Special Agent Matthew DeSarno nor Northern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox provided any speculation on a motive.
Federal investigators are currently looking into the shooter’s social media activity as part of their attempt to discover a motive, DeSarno said. “We are aggressively pursuing all his social media activity,” said the agent.
CBS DFW has since reported details on the shooter’s Facebook posts, including images of Civil War uniforms, “rants about the U.S. government — including talking about Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidians,” and images of ammo he had purchased. In one video he posted just a week before the shooting, he said, “I don’t know how much longer I have … the storm is coming … let’s do it,” at which point he held up one of his guns.
The Dallas Morning News reports that police detonated a “suspicious device” found in the shooter’s 2003 Nissan Altima that he had driven to the scene. “The blast was strong enough to shake sapling trees blocks away,” the paper reports.
The incident prompted a shutdown of several buildings in the area as scores of law enforcement officials converged on the scene as part of the extensive response.