Yesterday morning, a gunman dressed in tactical gear opened fire at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Dallas, Texas with a semi-automatic rifle. While at the courthouse for a separate assignment, Dallas Morning News photojournalist Tom Fox was caught in the middle of the chaos and managed to capture a stunning image, embedded below, of the gunman as he appeared to be reloading his weapon outside of the building he fired into.

As Fox explains in the above interview conducted with Dallas Morning News, he was at the courthouse waiting for a defendant to arrive for jury duty when he heard what he believed to be a backfire from a vehicle. What he heard though was the sound of gunshots that were being fired toward the federal courthouse.

After realizing it was gunshots he heard, Fox says he instinctually looked around to discover where the shots were coming from and ‘establish a safe perimeter and take a knee [to] see what I could [photograph].’

Shortly after hearing the first shots, Fox says a security guard and another individual, with whom he was talking with earlier, started running in his direction as pieces of granite from the Earle Cabell Federal Building were being kicked in the air from gunfire (the first photo in the embedded tweet below is implied to be the individuals he was referring to in the interview and shows both the gunman [left, in front of the blue sedan] and the granite turning to powder [top of the image, above the security guard's head]).

It was at this point that Fox turned and ran to seek cover. Eventually, he noticed an alcove near the entrance of the building and took shelter behind it (Fox can be seen behind the alcove, just feet away from the shooter, in a screenshot from a video captured by a citizen in an adjacent apartment building in the embedded tweet below [second image]). When he peeked around the corner, he saw an individual down the street. At this point, he took out his telephoto lens and composed a shot when he realized the individual he saw 'looked to be someone that would fit the shooter profile and made some frames.' Fox says it was when the shooter went to pick something up and he saw the ‘nozzle’ of the gun that he got up and ran to safety.

According to Dallas Morning News, the shooter was shot and killed by federal agents as he was running away from the building he opened fire at. No one else was injured or killed.

Dallas Morning News has put together a video using footage captured by Fox that shows the moments shortly after he captured what has become a viral image in the aftermath of the events. We had originally planned to include it in the article, but the thumbnail used for the video shows the shooter collapsed in a parking lot adjacent to the federal building after being shot by a federal agent, so we decided to link out instead. Bear in mind the video is graphic in nature.

Fox said he thought he ‘was gone’ in a follow-up interview with Dallas Morning News that dives into more details of the shooting. In 2017, Fox won Dallas Morning News staff photographer of the year.


Update (June 18, 2019): This article had originally stated the photo Tom Fox captured of the gunman was done so as the gunman was running from the building. However, it appears the image was captured at a different point in the timeline of the events and the article has been updated to reflect this.