Dallas transit agency was offered extra security

February 8, 2012 - 7:45 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Local and federal authorities offered to help secure Dallas-area bus and train stations Wednesday after a shootout left two people dead, the latest in a string of violent incidents on Dallas mass transit, an agency spokesman said.

Dallas police and the federal Transportation Security Administration reached out to Dallas Area Rapid Transit after Tuesday afternoon's shooting on a platform in Richardson, which is north of the city, DART spokesman Mark Ball said.

DART will not make any decisions on security until it finishes investigating the shooting, he said.

A Dallas police spokesman said he could not confirm the offer had been made, and a TSA spokesman did not return a phone message.

Richardson police identified the suspect who allegedly instigated Tuesday's shootout as 27-year-old Cory Jones of Dallas. Jones got into an argument with a bus driver when his bus pass was rejected, Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said. Jones allegedly used profanity and "belittled the driver," Perlich said.

The driver saw DART police officer Nikisha Manderson outside his bus and went to talk to her. Jones left the bus and crossed to a nearby light rail station, where Manderson confronted him, Perlich said.

When Manderson asked Jones to take his hands out of his pocket, he pulled out a gun and opened fire, Perlich said. Manderson fired back. Two passengers standing on the platform were hurt by the crossfire. Eric Johnson, 42, would later die of his injuries, and 54-year-old Russell Weinstein was later released from the hospital. Manderson was hurt, but released from the hospital Tuesday and rejoined the investigation, Ball said.

Other DART officers pursued Jones and exchanged fire with him in a nearby warehouse, Perlich said. Jones was found dead.

Weinstein said Wednesday that he heard two gunshots before Manderson fired back. Weinstein said he believed he was hit by one of Manderson's shots because Jones was turned away from him during the incident.

Perlich said it was too soon to confirm the sequence of gunfire, and a forensics report would likely take a couple of weeks to complete.

Last month, a man was fatally shot during an argument with three people at a station in downtown Dallas. And in December, undercover Dallas police officers shot and killed a suspect who they say brandished a handgun aboard an Amtrak train that was stopped at Union Station in Dallas. An officer and a bystander were wounded in the incident.

A few weeks earlier, four juveniles were arrested and charged with murder after a 19-year-old man was shoved into an accelerating DART train near Fair Park, southeast of downtown Dallas.