The combination of our nation’s puzzling inability to pass common-sense gun regulations and the increasing violence from extremist white nationalists claimed another victim today as a 22-year-old masked man in combat gear armed with an assault rifle opened fire outside of the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Dallas.
Luckily, the only fatalities resulting from the attack were of the shooter himself, Brian Isaack Clyde, who was shot and killed by police responding to a report of an active shooter at the scene. No one else was killed or injured in the incident.
According to Dallas Morning News photographer Tom Fox who was at the scene waiting to enter the building to cover an unrelated trial, Clyde parked his car in the corner before exiting and beginning his fusillade of shots from his assault rifle. Seeing the man dressed in combat gear, Fox managed to take a photo of the gunman before he started shooting.
In the report of the shooting published by his employer, the photographer said that “the gunman fired from the parking lot across the street toward Fox, a security guard, a woman walking a golden retriever and a man who hadn’t tied his tie yet. Photos of the building entrance show the glass on the courthouse’s revolving door shattered by bullets.
With the gunman now dead, police are still trying to learn the motivation for Clyde’s attack, but the shooter’s Facebook page was reportedly filled with multiple posts featuring guns, ammunition, and other weapons and showed that he was an Army infantry veteran who liked Alex Jones, the InfoWars conspiracy theorist.
According to a report at RawStory, the shooter posted a Facebook video last week “that showed him holding up a rifle and warning of some unspecified action.
“I don’t know how much longer I have, but a f*cking storm is coming,” he said, reaching for a rifle that appears similar to one used in the shooting. “However, not without defense. I’m f*cking ready, let’s do it.”
Clyde’s quotation of the Q-anon slogan about the coming “storm” indicates that he had been influenced by alt-right propaganda online.
This morning’s shooting could have been a much deadlier and tragic occurrence had Clyde been a better shot and the police response not been so quick, but only when Congress reinstitutes the ban on assault weapons, which many Americans believe have no legitimate use outside the context of the battlefield.
All the more reason to vote for Democratic candidates who support sensible regulation of gun ownership in every election until America joins countries like Australia and New Zealand in banning weapons that have no purpose but to kill as many people as possible.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Sara Coello, Jennifer Emily, and Charles Scudder at Dallas Morning News and by Travis Gettys at RawStory.