After an On-Camera Arrest in the Dallas Firehouse Shooting, Fox 4 Swears it Wasn't Tipped Off
"There's nothing happening here right now, because it's the middle of the night, but I'm standing here anyway. No one is quite sure why. Back to you."
Those lucky Dallasites who tuned in to KDFW Fox 4's 9 p.m. news last night got a little something extra, but it wasn't the exclusive -- and entirely banal -- footage of Dallas police arresting a Dallas firefighter at his home. It was the tap-dance routine that followed (and which you'll find in the video below.)
Our tale begins last week, 9 a.m. on March 8, when, according to a police report, firefighter-paramedic Jesus Ventura walked into Fire Station #45, near West Commerce and Sylvan, with a holstered semi-automatic pistol. Things then got serious, the report alleges: Ventura unholstered the gun and started waving it around, pointing it at firefighter Jeff Dean, who filed the police report, and others. "In a reckless manner," the report reads -- like there's another way to wave around a gun in a firehouse.
At this point the firefighters and witnesses moved "behind" Ventura. Then the gun went off. The others moved in to take the gun. By the time police were dispatched to the station at 4:30 that afternoon, Ventura must have been gone, because it wasn't until yesterday that they arrested him.
It's the mechanics of that arrest where things get weird. Around 4 p.m. yesterday, the fire department issued a statement saying that Ventura was on leave. Around the same time, a team of Dallas police officers arrived at Ventura's home to arrest him. And James Rose, a reporter from Fox 4, happened to be on the scene with a cameraman.
According to Rose's report, he was preparing to door-knock Ventura's last known address when an unmarked car pulled up. An officer emerged and told Rose he was in the midst of a police operation. So Rose and his cameraman stepped aside and watched police go to work.
But DPD officials appear skeptical about Rose's version. They've launched an internal-affairs investigation into why "several officers from the Southwest Patrol Division executed the warrant for firefighter Ventura's arrest while a separate operation by the Dallas Police Public Integrity Unit was ongoing to affect his voluntary surrender."
A statement from DPD goes on:
Their execution of the warrant also appears to have occurred concurrently with the arrival of a singular media outlet at the scene. The department is initiating an Internal Affairs investigation focusing on the decision made by the officers' supervisor to allow the operation to occur.
And that singular media outlet went to great lengths last night to make it clear they weren't tipped off by the Southwest Patrol team, that it was all a big coincidence. Rose and the anchor even question why the police would bother with an internal investigation.
Roll tape, as they say. And stay lucky, James.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.