Dallas police say that one of their police stations was shot at in a drive-by at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The drive-by attacked the Dallas Police Department’s south central station. The building was hit by three of the nine shots that were fired at it, and a window was broken during the attack. Police found what they believe to be a bullet hole in one of the building’s bricks, reports the Dallas News.
Deputy Chief Michael Coleman said that these type of incidents can be prepared for, but happen too fast to be able to stop.
“The unfortunate thing about this kind of offense, they’re hard to combat. You can prepare, but you just don’t know when they’re going to happen.”
Assistant Chief Randy Blankenbaker said that police suspect that a squad car that was sitting in front of the building may have been the target of the drive-by.
The officer in the car at the time of the attack, a 3 1/2-year veteran of the department, said that he saw a dark two door vehicle, possibly a late-model sports car. The vehicle was fleeing east. The officer was unable to give a description of the two people who were in the car.
Police plan to look for the vehicle on surveillance videos from businesses in the area.
The department had implemented plans for the safety of the station and officers after an incident in 2015. An armored van attacked the station, shooting at the building.
Blakenbanker said that the department has also been working to protect their officers by upgrading armor and weapons.
“We know that they’re vulnerable when they’re out there answering calls. … They understand that, and they gladly and willingly come to work and do a tremendous job every day. But we have to make sure they’re safe in their coming and going.”
The department plans could include asking Dallas’ new city manager, T.C. Broadnax to allocate more money for the department. Blankenbaker said, though, that they don’t want to make the stations so intimidating that citizens won’t want to come in.
Sgt. Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, said that there have been multiple attacks on the Dallas police department in the past two years. Officer safety has become a priority.
The drive-by, which may have been an attack on the officer sitting outside, is being investigated as an aggravated assault on a public servant.
Mata said that police will find the shooter by Sunday.
“We will catch this individual, and when we catch him. he will be held accountable for his actions. We will see him in court.”
Anyone with information about the case may call Dallas police at 214-671-3646 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477. Tips may also be provided through the department’s iWatch app.