Posted on July 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM
Updated today at 6:59 PM
DALLAS -- Gunfire erupted in southeast Dallas late Tuesday afternoon as police confronted a suspect. The situation escalated when hundreds of people converged on the crime scene.
At least one person was shot and wounded by Dallas police at a location in the 5200 block of Barber Avenue, according to initial reports.
No officers were wounded. A police source told News 8 the suspect was dead.
Sandra Harper, who identified herself as the mother of James Harper, said her 31-year-old son was dead, and had been shot in the back.
"My son didn't have no gun, whatever the police said," Mrs. Harper said.
Police had received a report of a man being dragged into a house. Gunfire was exchanged when the first squad cars arrived.
Dozens of police units -- some in riot gear -- converged on the scene to provide crowd control. The department's SWAT team arrived after 6:30 p.m.
There appeared to be several emotional people and at one point, at least one officer was seen firing what appeared to be pellets into the pavement that left marks on the surface in an effort to disperse the crowd.
Later, several fist fights broke out in the street among onlookers.
A woman was taken away in an ambulance.
News 8 observed at least three top police officials at the scene, including Assistant Chief Charles Cato. Two "companion officers" were requested at the scene to provide assistance to any police personnel who were involved in firing their weapons.
Rev. Ernest Freeney, a pastor in the community, was helping police to try and calm down the crowd. He said he was worried that people from other parts of the city and even from other cities would come to this neighborhood, increasing problems for public officials.
Sources said police were familiar with the residence where the shooting occurred as a place where illegal drugs were sold.