DALLAS - A gunman apparently angry over business dealings wounded a father and son at their financial services company inside an office building Monday, then shot himself as police closed in, authorities said.
The gunfire at about 10:30 a.m. created a frightening, grisly scene at the 15-story building, with one of the injured men making his way down an escalator with blood gushing from his neck and scared bank employees and customers locking themselves in vaults.
After the two men were shot, the suspect apparently turned the gun on himself as three officers were coming down the hall toward the third-floor suite, said Dallas police spokesman Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse. The suspect was in critical condition Monday.
"He's in the doorway of the suite, they hear a gunshot literally a few feet in front of them, and they're afraid he's going to step into the hallway and pop off another round, so one officer shoots into the doorway," Janse said. The officer's bullet did not hit the gunman, Janse said.
The gunman and the victims, 66-year-old Richard Smith and 39-year-old R. Chris Smith, apparently had an ongoing dispute, Janse said. But it was not clear exactly why the suspect opened fire inside the offices of Smith Financial in northern Dallas.
"The suspect is believed to be a past client that was unhappy over some business dealings," Janse said.
Richard Smith was shot in the legs, and his son was shot in the neck. Both were in stable condition.
Witnesses who saw the younger Smith coming down the escalator into the building lobby said blood was gushing from both sides of his neck as he and pleaded for help.
"He was screaming and crying," said Abraham Achar, who was visiting his friend at the United Texas Bank on the first floor. "He said, 'He shot my dad.'"
Becky Hayes, who works in a first-floor office near the security desk, said she recognized the younger Smith because he sometimes ate lunch in the building cafeteria. She said she persuaded him to sit in a chair until help arrived.
"He kept telling me: 'Stop the bleeding. Stop the bleeding,'" Hayes said. "I was just trying to keep him calm."
During the shootings, about 16 people took refuge in vaults in the bank.
"The building has announced we should stay in here until they let us know otherwise," bank employee Linda Farley told WFAA-TV of Dallas and Fort Worth by telephone from the vault. "Everybody is a little scared."
Police declined to immediately release more details about the gunman.