DALLAS ― SWAT teams swarmed a parking garage at Dallas Police Department headquarters on Saturday, following reports of a suspicious person in the area. Ultimately, nobody was found, but the early evening search added to tensions in a city where a sniper had killed five law enforcement officers just two days earlier.
The police department was on high alert Saturday following a threat to harm officers. The nature and origin of that declaration were unclear, but the department said it had received an “anonymous threat against law enforcement across the city and has taken precautionary measures.”
As officers focused on the search at department headquarters, reporters and the public were pushed back, and news teams were asked to cut their live feeds.
Witnesses suggested that police were searching for a masked man, although officials did not confirm that. Early media reports also suggested that shots had been fired, but police later said no shots had been fired at any person. They said they had used a shotgun and another device to breach locked entryways in a parking garage.
At one point, armored vehicles could be seen near the garage. Police said they had not found anyone after an initial sweep of the garage, but then conducted another search with K9 units.
Shortly before 9 p.m. Eastern time, the department announced via Twitter that the search was concluded: “No suspicious person or items were found.”
The city of Dallas was already on edge this weekend over the sniper attack Thursday night. Five officers had been killed and seven more wounded when a lone gunman opened fire at a protest over police violence. The shooting topped off a difficult and sorrowful week in which the country watched videos of two black men shot to death by police in other states.