The City of Fort Worth is all for roundabouts - motorists, not so much
A standoff between a suspect and Grand Prairie police near an IKEA Home Furnishing store ended with the suspect being killed Monday afternoon, authorities said.
Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye addressed the media after the incident that he said began with police receiving a call for a welfare check near the IKEA located at 1000 Ikea Way at 1:29 p.m.
"Our officers located the suspect, an African-American male, in his vehicle at the intersection of Robinson Road and Mayfield Road near the entrance to the parking lot of IKEA," Dye said. "Our officers approached his vehicle slowly and tried to talk to him."
Moments later the suspect produced a rifle and fired at the officers, he said.
"The suspect produced a rifle and our officers returned fire and retreated to take cover," Dye said.
The officers tried to negotiate with the suspect, he said, but the suspect didn't respond. Instead he got out of the car and opened fire a second time.
"The officers, in fear for their safety, returned fire," Dye said.
Dye said the suspect returned to the vehicle and the officers once again tried to negotiate with him — to no avail. The suspect once again pointed the rifle at the lawmen.
"The officers returned fire again," Dye said. "At that time the SWAT team approached the vehicle and found an African-American male deceased inside the vehicle."
A customer at IKEA at the time, 27-year-old Lewis Dang, said he was inside the cafeteria eating lunch with his parents when he heard gunfire.
"I heard a gunshot then I just saw a group of people pool up," Dang said.
He said his parents looked around to see what the commotion was about, then they were approached by staff at the store and asked to go to the basement area.
He said his parents were curious as to what was happening. "I was like, 'What is wrong you all?' I'm like freaking out," said Dang. "The staff ran everyone into the basement. It was narrow and at least 100 people were brought down there. A few minutes later I noticed them bringing the kids down into the basement from the play area too."
While the customers huddled in the basement, Dang said he spoke with a woman who said she was the one who called the police initially.
"She said she saw a guy in the parking lot and it seemed like he was in need of some medical help so she called the police from her cellphone," Dang said.
He said about an hour later IKEA staff told customers it was safe to leave and led everyone out.
Dye said it is unclear if the vehicle belonged to the suspect and if there was anything wrong with him when officers arrived.
"A citizen called and reported that someone was in need of help which is how the welfare call came about," Dye said. "There were no injuries to anyone inside IKEA or the church nearby. This incident had no involvement with IKEA. Our officers tried all peaceful means to resolve the matter."
Dye said the suspect will be identified once an examination is performed by the medical examiner's office and once the next of kin are notified.