Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Dallas Police Chief David Brown says officers are lucky to be alive after two police involved shootings in the past 24 hours. The suspects died in both.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said an aggravated assault suspect killed in a gun battle Monday was trying to ambush officers.
After officers responded to the call of an armed robbery Monday afternoon, the suspect led police on a chase into the August Park Apartments on St. Augustine.
While running near the pool, the suspect, 26-year-old William Banks, slipped and fell, the chief said. Banks then pulled out his gun and pointed it toward the pursuing officers who quickly demanded he drop the weapon. When Banks refused, the officers fired several shots in his direction.
Brown said Banks then ran behind a laundry room and hid behind a wall with his gun pointed in the direction of the oncoming officers. Dallas police took a tactical approach to coming around the corner and spotted Banks waiting to ambush them, Brown said. It was then that officers opened fire on Banks.
Banks then stumbled and fell, the chief said. He was transported to Mesquite Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Brown said that in the gun battle, one round fired by a Dallas officer missed the suspect and went through two walls. The bullet caused debris to fall and leave a 2-year-old child with a bump on the head. The child is expected to be OK.
Brown added Tuesday that there has been an alarming increase in felony assaults on officers, not only in Dallas but nationwide, over the last two years. Statistics cited by Brown indicate a 20 percent increase in felony assault on officers by suspects with weapons between 2010-11. That increase represents the lives of 71 officers.
This shooting was the second incident on Tuesday of an attempted ambush of Dallas police officers. Brown said a teen shot officer Ronald Workman Tuesday after calling 911 and reporting an armed man in the area. Brown said he was confident the teen was trying to lure officers to the area. By the time backup arrived, the teen had apparently committed suicide.
Brown said that in 2011 the department mandated all officers wear bulletproof vests when on the street. He added that the officers receive daily messages on their car computers designed to reinforce safety while working on the street.
NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.