By Mark Berman, The Washington Post
A Dallas paramedic responding to a reported shooting was shot and critically injured Monday morning, drawing a swarming police presence to a neighborhood on the city’s eastern side.
Police said they sent a robot into a house where they believed the attacker was barricaded and found the suspected shooter, who had taken his own life, along with the body of a second person.
The violent burst in a residential area appeared to have began as some kind of disagreement involving neighbors, said David Pughes, interim Dallas police chief, citing information given to officers.
(A Dallas Fire and Rescue paramedic was shot while responding to a shooting call in east Dallas. As police responded they were shot at. One police officer drug the paramedic to safety and drove him to the hospital saving his life. The shooter barricaded himself in a house and was later found dead in the house along with another individual. Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News and YouTube)
“It was just a simple dispute between two neighbors that escalated into a shooting,” Pughes said at a briefing late Monday afternoon.
Pughes did not specify if the two neighbors were the suspected shooter and the other person found dead in the home, neither of whom police identified.
In addition to the two people found dead inside the home and the paramedic, a fourth person — a Dallas citizen — was also seriously wounded Monday and brought to the hospital, officials said.
The shooting comes nearly a year after five police officers in Dallas were killed and nine were injured in an ambush.
Four of the slain officers were members of the city’s police department, while the fifth was an officer with the Dallas transit agency.
(Dallas PD Chief addresses press on Monday, July 11, 2016. Courtesy of CBSDFW and YouTube)
Police said after that ambush in July that the attacker told officers he was angry about law enforcement officers fatally shooting black men in other cities nationwide.
Officers ultimately killed the attacker by placing an explosive device on a police robot and delivering it to him.
The incident on Monday began shortly before 11:30 a.m. when police officers, responding to a call about a shooting, found an ambulance was already there and a paramedic was down, Pughes said.
(Dallas shooting suspect found dead. Courtesy of NBC4 WCMH-TV Columbus and YouTube)
The unidentified fourth person, the Dallas citizen, was also down on the street, Pughes said.
This shooting occurred just down the street from a Dallas Fire-Rescue training center, a sprawling facility with classrooms, offices, simulators and a driving course.
Officers approaching the area were fired upon and attempted to take cover, Pughes said.
He said a sergeant saw the paramedic was seriously injured and rushed to pull the EMT into his police car to take him to Baylor Hospital. Officials credited this quick action with saving the paramedic’s life.
Dallas Fire-Rescue officials, who said they were not going to identify the paramedic until his family was notified, said the paramedic was not wearing body armor when he was shot.
The paramedic was brought to Baylor for surgery and was in critical, but stable, condition on Monday afternoon.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that the paramedic, along with the Dallas citizen who was injured, were both being treated in the intensive care unit, and he said the paramedic is likely going to need extensive medical treatment going forward.
Rawlings suggested that the attacker had mental health issues, though he did not elaborate on why other than to say that this person appeared to be known to authorities.
“In my mind, someone that was not mentally stable dealt a lot of pain this afternoon,” Rawlings said at the news briefing.
The Dallas area already had drawn national attention for a deadly police shooting this weekend.
A black 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in a suburb by police officers who were responding to a report of drunken teenagers and fired into a moving car.
His death was ruled a homicide Monday.
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with Dallas Fire and Rescue, the injured paramedic and the Dallas citizen injured in the incident.