Police kill suspect, angry crowd gathers - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Angry crowd confronts police after suspect shooting

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James Harper James Harper
Tape blocks off the scene where the suspect was shot and killed Tape blocks off the scene where the suspect was shot and killed
A crowd of angry neighbors and family members confronts police A crowd of angry neighbors and family members confronts police
Police try to get control of the crowd in south Dallas Police try to get control of the crowd in south Dallas
The suspect's mom yells at officers lined up behind crime scene tape The suspect's mom yells at officers lined up behind crime scene tape
DALLAS -

Police shot and killed a man in south Dallas on Tuesday, prompting a tense situation with hundreds of angry, emotional neighbors.

The shooting happened at about 5:30 p.m. at a known drug house in the 5300 block of Bourquin Street while, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, police were responding to a kidnapping call.

Brown said four suspects fled the house via various means, including by breaking windows. He said officers saw a gun on a table in the house and that crack cocaine was also present.

According to Brown, eight-year DPD veteran Officer Brian Rowden chased James Harper, fighting the suspect three times. Rowden was losing the fight and was exhausted when, according to Brown, Harper said, "You're going to have to kill me."

Rowden feared for his life and fatally shot Harper, Brown said.

Word of the shooting quickly spread through the neighborhood as family members and the curious rushed to the scene, eventually amassing in the hundreds and prompting police to call for additional crowd control, including SWAT. In fact, officers armed with pepper ball guns and shields forced the crowd back amid reports of people trying to cut through fences to gain access to the shooting scene.

The slain man's inconsolable mother and enraged father confronted police and media at the scene. Both said their 31-year-old son was unarmed and fleeing police when he was shot in the back.

"No reason for him to be shot like a dog. If he's running away from them, ain't no reason," James White said.

However, Brown downplayed that possibility. "We don't believe any of the family members witnessed anything," Brown said, adding that family members make similar claims "on almost every shooting."

He said he thought Harper might have been shot in the abdomen and hand.

Still, the chief admitted that several questions remained and that Harper might not have been armed when he was killed.

"We're also not able to find a gun that Mr. Harper possessed," Brown said. "We do not have a gun."

The chief also said he was not certain that any of the responding officers, including Rowden, were ever fired upon.

According to Brown, Harper has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple charges of drug possession and manufacturing, assault, evading arrest, and more.

A second, unidentified suspect was also arrested, Brown said.

No officers were injured.

Immediately following the shooting and throughout most of the evening, a chaotic crowd swelled, diminished and regrouped. At one point, a fight seemed to break out.

Brown said much of the drama could be due to a family feud in the neighborhood. In fact, he said, a 911 call that initially drew police to the scene was likely bogus and an intentional, retaliatory act.

Despite the explosive situation, there were no reports of arrests or injuries.

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