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Gunman shot dead after opening fire on federal courthouse in downtown Dallas

An armed shooter stands near the Earle Cabell Federal Building Monday, in downtown Dallas. The shooter was hit  in an exchange of gunfire with federal officers outside the courthouse.  [Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News]
An armed shooter stands near the Earle Cabell Federal Building Monday, in downtown Dallas. The shooter was hit in an exchange of gunfire with federal officers outside the courthouse. [Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News]
Published Jun. 17, 2019

DALLAS — A man in a mask and combat gear who opened fire Monday morning at the Earle Cabell federal courthouse in downtown Dallas was shot by officers before he could injure anyone.

The shooter, Brian Isaack Clyde, 22, died at the scene and was taken to Baylor University Medical Center, after police responded to an active shooter call, officials said.

Dallas Morning News photographer Tom Fox witnessed the shooter open fire outside the building and took photos of the gunman. The gunman fired from the parking lot across the street toward Fox and others.

The window panes in the revolving door and two side doors at the Commerce Street entrance were broken afterward. It is unclear if the door was shot by the shooter or law enforcement.

A photo taken by Fox shows law enforcement standing around the shooter, who is lying on the ground without a shirt on. The shooter had a red heart tattoo with a black drawing inside, possibly of an animal, on his left arm.

Fox, who was questioned by the FBI, said he was outside the building when a man in a mask parked on the corner of Jackson and Griffin streets. The masked man ran and then stopped in the street to pick something off the ground.

The man then began shooting at the courthouse and cracked the glass of the door, Fox said. Inside the building security pushed everyone down to the ground.

The federal building is likely to remain on lockdown for the rest of the day.

The shooting is a block from the July 7, 2016 ambush where five police officers — four Dallas police officer and a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — were killed by a gunman. Nearby El Centro College was placed on lockdown. During the ambush, that shooter entered the school and fired at the fifth officer who was killed from a window.

Dallas police detonated a suspicious device around 10:40 a.m. in the vehicle of the man who shot at the courthouse. The blast was strong enough to shake several sapling trees blocks away. Police were searching downtown for other possible devices. Many downtown buildings are on lockdown or evacuated. Many streets are closed as police search for suspicious devices.

Ed Modla was working from home at SoCo Urban Lofts this morning when he heard at least 10 loud shots outside. He looked outside and saw the gunman running across Griffin Street.

"As soon as I saw the shooter I got the hell away from the window," he said.

He took another peek from his third-floor window a few moments later and said he saw officers "zeroing in" on the suspect across the street.

Dallas police evacuated the apartment building around 10 a.m., going door-to-door to make sure everyone got out.

Video tweeted by a KDFW-TV (Channel 4) assignment editor shows a man in a black mask and a gun run from the sidewalk next to the courthouse and across the street to a parking lot.

Judicial intern Thompson Du was waiting outside Monday morning after officials kept him from going inside. Du said his friends who were already nearby when the shooting occurred told him they heard shots for 45 seconds.

Don Miles heard 10-15 shots as he walked up to the Commerce Street entrance for his 9 a.m. appointment.

"I just ran," Miles said.

Herman Turner, 50, took the day off work to run errands at the courthouse. He said he was on his way to get a cashier's check when he saw the gunman run from the courthouse door near Main and Griffin streets, plant himself in the middle of the road and begin firing an assault rifle back at the building.

Monday's shooting wasn't the first connected to a North Texas courthouse.

In January 2013, a masked gunman shot and killed Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse in a courthouse parking lot in Kaufman. The gunman then went on to kill Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia in their home over East weekend of that year.

The shooter, Eric Williams, remains on death row. He killed the DA and prosecutor in a revenge plot for prosecuting him for stealing county property. Williams wife, Kim, testified against him and is in prison for her role in the murders.

In January 1993, Hai Van Huynh opened fire in the hallway of the George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building in Dallas, fatally shooting his wife, Ly Dang, and wounding a bystander. He later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On July 1, 1992, George Lott opened fire inside the Tarrant County Courthouse, killing two lawyers, seriously wounding two appellate judges and grazing another attorney. He died by lethal injection two years later.

Lott had been indicted a few months earlier on aggravated sexual assault charges stemming from allegations that he had sexually abused his son at a motel in Peoria, Ill., according to police and court records. He was scheduled to be tried July 24 on the more serious of the charges, said prosecutor Jim Owens in Peoria, where the son lived.

Staff Writer Dave Tarrant contributed to this report.

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