In the Attack on Dallas' Federal Building, Faint Echoes of the July 7, 2016, Downtown Ambush

Tourists zipped scooters up downtown sidewalks, blissfully unaware of pedestrians. As usual. Homeless people stretched out on downtown park benches, tussling for shade on a bright, humid day. As usual. Workers toting bags filled with lunch crossed against traffic lights; motorists detoured by sudden roadblocks honked at the brief inconvenience. All, as usual.By 1:30 p.m. Monday, downtown Dallas showed only few signs of the shooting that had taken place just hours earlier in front of the Earle Cabell Federal Building. Streets were closed around the building — Commerce, Griffin, a few others. Cops directed pedestrians away from the side of the building pockmarked by a gunman's bullets. Dallas cops and the FBI had portable command centers in place. Men and women in blue "FBI Evidence Response Team" shirts held cardboard boxes and cameras.But by 2, some streets were beginning to reopen. The command centers were seen driving off. And the Cabell was starting to empty most of the 300 or so workers and witnesses stranded by the morning's attack.And, for the most part, all was as usual.Perhaps that is because we have been here before, not so long ago — it only feels like a forever away. And the last time was so much worse. A horror story. A damned nightmare. Some colleagues have mentioned it today; friends, too. Reminds me of July 7. Even our initial story noted: This shooting was right around the corner from where five officers were killed by a different heavily armed masked gunman.  Continue reading...

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