There was an attempted mass shooting in downtown Dallas on Monday, but thankfully, the only person shot and killed was the would-be mass murderer himself.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the gunman, identified as 22-year-old Brian Issac Clyde, showed up Monday morning outside the Earl Cabell Federal Building while wearing a mask, tactical vest and belt, and bearing an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle with at least five 30-round magazines.
The gunman reportedly opened fire on the front entrance of the federal building, which houses federal courts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, a U.S. Marshal’s Service office and other federal agency offices.
In other words, the place was crawling with armed federal agents and law enforcement officers, who quickly returned fire on the gunman and hit him.
The gunman retreated to a nearby parking lot and died at the scene from the wounds he’d received. Nobody else was injured.
In his haste to attack the building, the gunman almost ran right into a photojournalist for The Dallas Morning News who’d been about to enter to cover a trial.
The photographer, Tom Fox, captured an incredible photograph of the assailant that revealed a look of fear and panic in the shooter’s eyes as he fumbled with his rifle and magazines.
DMN staff photographer @TomFoxPhoto captured this image shortly before a gunman opened fire on the Earle Cabell Federal Building Monday morning in downtown Dallas. Fox was waiting to enter the building to cover a trial when the attack took place. https://t.co/y8fWYYuKjs pic.twitter.com/fE1kFlEy9j
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) June 17, 2019
Amazingly, the gunman either didn’t notice or chose to ignore the journalist, who took cover behind a pillar that jutted out as an alcove near the door while shots rang out as the gunman and authorities exchanged fire right next to him.
Raw video from a witness in an elevated position in a nearby building caught part of the shooting. Fox can be seen tucked away in the alcove while the gunman exchanged fire with police and then scrambled for cover of his own in a parking lot across the street.
There, he ultimately drew his last breath while surrounded by some of the agents and officers he had just been trying to murder.
Check it out here:
Thus far, it is unclear what sort of motive the gunman had for his attempted mass shooting, though an investigation is continuing. Little is known of him, as he was not on any watch list and doesn’t appear to have a criminal record, according to KDFW.
He served in the U.S. Army from August 2015 to February 2017, according to The Dallas Morning News. He was honorably discharged.
One major point that everyone should focus on in this incident is how this would-be killer’s rampage was rapidly brought to a halt without any harm coming to innocent people because of the numerous “good guys with guns” in the vicinity.
It isn’t difficult to imagine that this could have been a vastly different and far more tragic story if the gunman had chosen a different venue for his attack, such as a “soft target” like a school or shopping mall or virtually anywhere else besides a federal building.
Thankfully, this guy picked a target that was bristling with armed good guys who didn’t hesitate to put the bad guy on the ground with well-placed shots of their own, ending the shooting almost as quickly as it had begun.
Now, imagine for a moment that our nation’s schools were not undefended “soft targets” that a gunman could shoot up at his leisure, but instead enjoyed the protection of even a fraction of the armed lawmen that were in and around that federal building in Dallas.
That is an achievable reality, via the voluntary arming and training of teachers and staff, or through the hiring of armed and trained guards, be they off-duty or retired police officers and military veterans.
If bad guys intent on death and destruction were to be gunned down themselves before they were able to harm any innocent individuals, as was the case here, it stands to reason that there will eventually be fewer bad guys attempting mass shootings at locations that are known to be well-defended.
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