An armed man who attacked a summer camp in Duncanville on Monday is dead after being shot by police.
Around 250 children were at the camp at the Duncanville Fieldhouse, which went on lockdown after the gunman fired shots. Police said the gunman attempted to enter a classroom, but the door was locked. No children, staff or police were harmed, said Duncanville Assistant Chief of Police Matthew Stogner during a news conference.
Stogner said police responded to the field house in the 1700 block of S. Main Street at 8:45 am, two minutes after receiving calls about shots being fired. The field house was the site of a summer camp for children between the ages of 4 and 14, he said.
During a search, officers confronted the gunman and shot him. Police provided medical aid, and the gunman was taken to a hospital, where he later died. The man’s name was not released, and a motive has not been determined.
Stogner said because the shooting involved a police officer, the investigation will be led by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Police said the man entered the field house through the main lobby doors with a handgun. He exchanged words with a camp staff member and fired one round, prompting calls to police.
Camp counselors moved the kids to a safe area and began locking doors, Stogner said. The gunman attempted to enter one classroom but was not able to get inside because the door was locked, Stogner said. He shot at the classroom door, where there were children inside, he said.
Naomi Rodgers, a camp counselor, told KXAS-TV (NBC5) that she was working with about 40 children and they were about to play a game when they heard the gunshot.
“We had to move them all across the room because the building is glass and we had to find a safe space,” Rodgers told NBC5. “The shooter actually came to our door… and he said if we didn’t let him see who he wanted to see he was going to shoot the place up.”
The gunman then moved into the gymnasium and was confronted by police, Stogner said.
Children were reunited with their parents with the help of Duncanville ISD and DeSoto and Cedar Hill police departments, Stogner said.
The incident comes nearly three weeks after the massacre in Uvalde, where 21 people, including 19 children, were killed at Robb Elementary School. Stogner said officers at the department recently underwent active shooter training and “did exactly what they were trained to do.”
“We obviously understand what took place south of us,” Stogner said. “I can only talk about how we responded here and we did an exceptional job.”
Duncanville City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides said the city would work with parents to find a new location for the summer camp and that sessions would likely resume later this week.
“We want to make sure they feel comfortable and safe returning to this location,” she said.