It’s no secret that Dallas has a rich and diverse community, but this year the city was hit with a brutal, four-day shooting spree that left at least seven people dead and nearly 400 wounded.
We asked some locals what they made of the carnage, and what it means for the future of their community.DALLAS, TX—A Dallas police officer is dead and another man is in critical condition after a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a downtown restaurant early Wednesday, the city’s chief of police announced.
The officer, a 24-year veteran of the department, is named as Keith Scott.
His body was found in a parking lot in the city center early Thursday, about 50 minutes after he was shot and wounded in the abdomen.
He was identified as 26-year-old William Walker, who had been a police officer in Dallas for about a year.
He and his brother, 20-year law enforcement veteran Michael Walker, were the first to be shot at in the downtown area, which includes several high-rise buildings and an outdoor market.
Police say the two were inside the restaurant when the gunman began firing, hitting Scott in the head and torso.
They were taken to a nearby hospital, where Walker died of his wounds.
He had a history of mental health issues and was on a psychiatric hold, police said.
They did not release details of what prompted the shooting, but authorities say Walker was the one who asked to be released from a psychiatric hospital.
The Walker brothers are believed to be the first two victims.
“The officer is one of the finest officers in the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas community is hurting right now,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference.
“He’s our hero.”
He called the shooting “a horrific act of violence,” but said Walker was a “strong, selfless police officer.”
He was a proud member of the Dallas police force, Rawlings added, but he was also an outstanding man who served the community with great distinction.
“The officer was one of those who, when they got the call about this shooting, jumped into the water and immediately rushed to the scene,” Rawlings told reporters.
“It’s a terrible tragedy.
I want to thank the officer’s family for their sacrifice.”
Walker, who was an Iraq war veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserve and had been deployed to Iraq twice, was the son of a Dallas police sergeant and a former police officer.
His brother Michael had served in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard, where he had been serving in a police car during the war.
He graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in criminal justice.
“This was a tough day for us,” Dallas police said in a statement, noting that Walker and his wife, Tiffany, had been married for just over two years.
“He was dedicated to helping those in need and wanted to serve and protect the community,” said his brother-in-law, Mike Walker.
“His death brings to a close an extremely difficult and difficult time in our lives.”
Police said Scott was working with other officers to monitor a crowd of people who were trying to enter the downtown market.
As the gunfire was taking place, a police vehicle pulled up and Scott approached the vehicle, then fired at least one shot.
Police said that Scott then turned around and shot again, hitting two officers, who were responding to a call of a shooting in the area.
Both were struck by gunfire.
Police are investigating the shooting and saying they do not believe the shooter was targeting the officers, but that the shooting is under investigation.
Walker and the officers were assigned to the Downtown Dallas Police Station.
The agency posted a tribute to Scott on its Facebook page.
The officer’s death comes just a week after a man was shot to death outside a Dallas restaurant and another was wounded when a man opened fire in a crowded neighborhood.
Police say the shooting began after an argument outside a nearby apartment complex escalated into gunfire.
Authorities say a woman in the apartment complex was shot in the leg and taken to an area hospital.
A suspect was later identified as 27-year old Jose Torres, who police say fired shots into the crowd before fleeing the scene.
After the shooting spree, police were investigating the possibility that Torres had been planning a mass shooting at a nearby shopping mall.
Police had no evidence of any threat at the mall, but they did release surveillance images that showed Torres, his vehicle and the two victims at the nearby Walmart in the early morning hours of Thursday.
Torres was arrested and charged with attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
Authorities are also investigating a separate shooting at the same Walmart early Wednesday that left another man dead.
A Walmart employee who identified himself only as “Mr. Jones” told police that he and his co-worker, 28-year of the same age, were working at a cash register when the two saw a man in a vehicle with a weapon approach them.