Explosives Found, Suspect Cornered after Gunfire Targets Dallas Police HQ

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DALLAS, Texas (CNN)–

At least one attacker opened fire on Dallas’ police headquarters early Saturday, riddling windows and police cars before fleeing in a van to a suburban restaurant parking lot, where officers surrounded the vehicle in a standoff that has lasted for hours.

Officers exchanged gunfire with the attacker or attackers at both sites, and as dawn broke in Texas — hours after the attack began at 12:20 a.m. (1:20 a.m. ET) — they still were watching the vehicle and negotiating with the driver in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box restaurant in Hutchins.

No injuries were immediately reported, but police are dealing with a parallel threat they discovered after the attack began — at least two pipe bombs that were found outside the police headquarters.

One of the bombs exploded as a bomb-squad robot tried to move it. Police posted a picture on Twitter that appeared to show that vehicles were damaged in the blast.

The bomb squad detonated the second device. By 7 a.m. local time, police said they determined there was no longer a threat at the headquarters building, but police still were searching the area for more explosives.

Parts of the initial attack were caught on video by several people nearby, including residents of an apartment building across the street.

Witnesses told police they believed more than one person opened fire on the police building from various locations, and the vehicle appeared to be an armored van.

“There might be up to four suspects,” Police Chief David Brown said.

Windows shattered at police headquarters, and bullets pierced squad cars.

Police returned fire and gave chase as perhaps one or more suspects jumped into the van, Brown said. Brown said it appeared one person appeared not to make it on board in time, but it wasn’t clear whether that person was arrested.

Security has been beefed up at Dallas police stations and at Dallas City Hall, he said.

SWAT team negotiates

The chase ended at the restaurant parking lot in Hutchins.

A SWAT team was negotiating with a suspect in the vehicle who gave the name James Boulware. Police said that they cannot independently confirm that it is the suspect’s real identity.

Police found a previous record of domestic violence by a man under that name. The suspect told police that he was angry because they took away his child and labeled him a terrorist.

He threatened to blow them up and broke off negotiations, Brown said.

At one point, police used a .50-caliber rifle to “disable” the vehicle, police said.

Investigators are looking into whether a van sold in Newnan, Georgia, on eBay last week may be the van used in the Dallas attack, a source familiar with the investigation said. They are investigating, among other things, who may have purchased the vehicle.

Former Marine captured video

The crackling sound of the shootout got the attention of former Marine Rick Birt, who lives near the police headquarters.

“We heard loud noises, my wife asked if I thought they were shots,” he said. “I went over to the window and put one of them up. And we heard more shots being fired, and I turned to my wife and said, ‘Yeah, that’s definitely gunfire.'”

He got his cell phone and recorded video. After the van fled, police informed him and his wife that they had to evacuate their building.

“They’ve instructed us that we may be out of our home for a while,” he said.

Police had discovered the suspicious bags right across from it.