Tuesday 17 October 2017

Dallas Cowboys party shooting: Nine dead after gunman opens fire in Texas

Onlookers watch police work the scene of a shooting at a home in Plano, north of Dallas, Texas, Sunday. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Onlookers watch police work the scene of a shooting at a home in Plano, north of Dallas, Texas, Sunday. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A police officer works the scene of a shooting at a home in Plano, north of Dallas, Texas, Sunday night. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Nine people, including a suspect who was shot dead by an officer, have died after a man opened fire during a gathering to watch American football at a house in suburban Dallas, police said.

Plano Police Chief Gregory W Rushin said at a Monday news conference that one of two people taken to hospital after the Sunday night shooting had died.

An officer responding to a report of shots fired at about 8pm confronted the suspected gunman and opened fire, killing the suspect. Police then found nine gunshot victims - seven were dead and two were taken to the hospital.

"The first responding officer actually heard gunshots taking place inside the residence," police spokesman David Tilley said.

Mr Rushin said the officer approached the house from the back and saw bodies in the back yard before confronting the suspect inside.

Police have not confirmed the identities of those killed or the suspect. Mr Rushin said the suspect "was known by people in the residence", adding the suspect had a "relationship with that house".

Debbie Lane told the WFAA television station that her daughter Meredith Lane was among those killed in the shooting. She said her daughter owned the home and had recently divorced her husband of six years.

She said her daughter, a native of Georgia, was hosting a party to watch football, starting with Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears and continuing with Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants.

"She was a cook, and a quite fine one, and she loved hosting friends and families," Debbie Lane said.

All of those killed and injured are believed to be adults.

Neighbour Stacey Glover told the Dallas Morning News that the party had started early in the afternoon and she had seen people laughing and grilling outside.

She said she then heard the shots at around 8pm, then opened her door and smelled gunpowder. She heard police who arrived yell "hands up" before more shots rang out.

Mr Rushin said he did not know how many people had attended the gathering. He added that multiple firearms of different types were found at the scene.

Mr Tilley said a shooting of this magnitude was unusual for Plano, especially in such a quiet neighbourhood. He could not say whether police had been called to the home before Sunday.

He said the Texas Rangers are investigating the officer-involved shooting and are helping Plano police with the homicide investigation.

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