AP

Photographer recounts facing Dallas gunman

Jun 19, 2019, 7:05 AM
Dallas...
Security officers, left, and a member of the U.S. Marshal's Service, right, head towards the downed shooter after shots were fired Monday morning, June 17, 2019 at the Earle Cabell federal courthouse in Dallas. A masked gunman opened fire Monday at the Earle Cabell federal courthouse before being fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with federal officers, witnesses and authorities said. No officers or citizens were injured. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

DALLAS (AP) — Waiting outside a federal courthouse, photographer Tom Fox took in Dallas’ 8 a.m. bustle. People dressed for work got out of cars. A homeless man danced on a street pole.

But when what initially sounded like a truck backfiring clarified into gunshots, the routine assignment for a veteran journalist morphed in a moment.

As shots echoed off the tall buildings, an armed officer dashed past The Dallas Morning News photographer. A man came around the corner half a block away and Fox pulled out his long lens — focusing in on green military-style garb, a mask and a belt full of ammunition. The gun barrel swung around. Fox squeezed off a last frame. And he ran for cover behind a column in the building’s façade.

“I was just praying in that corner that he wasn’t going to pass me,” Fox, 51, told The Associated Press. “I was just afraid he was going to be running with a gun. He was going to pass me, see me, identify me with the camera and shoot me.”

Fox’s photos offer a rare in-the-moment glimpse of the type of shootings most Americans only see after the fact. In capturing the gunman approaching the doors of the federal building, Fox said he acted on instinct reinforced by his colleagues’ experiences blocks away a few years earlier.

Brian Isaack Clyde’s assault on the Earle Cabell Federal Building marks downtown Dallas’ second high-profile shooting by a U.S. Army veteran in less than three years. In July 2016, Micah Johnson shot and killed five law enforcement officers and wounded nine others before police killed him. But Clyde was the only fatality Monday.

“I don’t think, if it wasn’t for the July 7th shootings, that I would have known how to react,” said Fox. “It was just instinctual.”

Officials have praised the training and courage of the Federal Protective Service officers who confronted Clyde, saying their actions likely prevented many more deaths. But little information has emerged on what motivated the attack.

On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Clyde posted frequently about weapons. A post on Sunday with a photo of a short sword has the caption: “A modern gladius to defend the modern Republic.” A Saturday post features a photo of gun magazines.

He captioned a video posted June 9 — the day a severe storm hit Dallas: “This storm is about to pay for kicking me off my porch.” In that video Clyde talks to the camera in a candle-lit room. He says, “I don’t know how much longer I have, but the … storm is coming. However, I’m not without defense.” He then lifts a long gun, saying he’s “ready” and “Let’s do it.”

Federal authorities have not confirmed the authenticity of the Facebook page, which was taken down Monday after the shooting. Fox said the man pictured in it is the same person he saw at the courthouse.

After graduating from high school in Austin in 2015, Clyde went into the U.S. Army. He served as an infantryman from August 2015 to February 2017 and achieved the rank of private first class, according to the Army.

Clyde graduated last month from Del Mar College, a community college in Corpus Christi. He was recognized as an outstanding student at a ceremony in April, according to a statement from Del Mar College.

Gabriel Wadsworth, who was stationed with Clyde at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, expressed shock at the news.

“Nobody knew that he would have done something like this,” Wadsworth told The Dallas Morning News.

Crouched in his corner, Fox listened to the sounds of gunfire and shattering glass. A video shows bullets strike the wall above him.

Fox began recording video, but said the shots were louder in person than they ever are on the screen.

“It was very intense, and it seemed like it wasn’t going to stop,” he said. “I just waited and waited and waited for almost an eternity.”

When an officer eventually appeared across the street, Fox said he was determined to find the gunman and “crept along” with police through a nearby parking lot.

Fox said he didn’t see Clyde get shot. “The last I saw him was in my camera lens down the street, and I’m thankful that I never saw him until I saw him lying face down in the parking lot,” he said.

As officers in blue surgical gloves cared for Clyde, Fox told his editor that there’d been a shooting and texted in a smartphone photo.

Fox said police told him to stay on the scene. But before he went in for an FBI interview, the 29-year Dallas Morning News veteran said he met a colleague on a corner and handed off his cameras’ memory cards.

“My photos were already being worked up before I got back to the paper,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Jamie Stengle contributed reporting.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
3 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
5 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
6 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
7 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
7 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Photographer recounts facing Dallas gunman