DALLAS - An 18-wheeler in a no-parking zone brought another massive law enforcement response on Monday to the federal court building in Downtown Dallas just seven days after a gunman opened fire there.
Sgt. Warren Mitchell with the Dallas Police Department said someone called 911 around 6:30 a.m. Monday to report an 18-wheeler was left abandoned near Griffin and Jackson streets near the Earle Cabell Federal Building.
The officers who responded to the call looked into the bed of the truck and saw suspicious wiring, causing them to immediately call the bomb squad.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and Dallas-Fire Rescue were also called in to check the truck out as a precaution.
The law enforcement officials shut down streets in a three-block radius around the courthouse. They evacuated the federal building and several other buildings in the area.
“They just cut the fire alarm on. Once everybody went outside, they was in the lobby. So was federal marshals and all that in the lobby,” said Marquan Willilams, who was evacuated from the Manor House Apartments. “We didn't really have to do no guesswork. Normally, it’s not a big a-- truck right there.”
Willilams had to leave his Manor House apartment once again.
“This the second week in a row,” he said. “It’s getting irritating.”
Williams is referring to last Monday when his building was part of a downtown patch evacuated following a shootout on the south side of the federal building that left the shooter, 22-year-old Brian Clyde, dead.
Johnson Abraham works in the federal building.
“It is concerning, but we are living in a dangerous world,” he said. “We just stay caution all the time and our officers are doing their best.”
Sgt. Mitchell said members of the bomb squad eventually opened up the trailer and found just boxes inside.
Investigators were able to contact the owner of the truck, who said the driver had gone on an extended break. Police are still looking for the driver and plan to tow the truck to the city pound, Mitchell said.
“It’s clearly marked. He should not have parked there. Whether there will be charges or not, we’ve not made that determination at this time,” he said.
With good reason, police were more concerned about what could have been outside the building.
“What happened last week and then again today, the officers felt it best to call the bomb squad out just for safety reasons,” Sgt. Mitchell said. “As you all know, we're living in different times these days. So you can never be too careful.”
The truck driver may have been up against the Department of Transportation rules on how long you can drive before breaking for sleep.