Dallas gunman hit 'breaking point' after losing custody of son, father says

Dallas gunman hit 'breaking point' after losing custody of son, father says
Jim Boulware says his son James Boulware, the gunman killed by Dallas police on Saturday, blamed authorities after he lost custody of his son. (Andy Jacobsohn / The Dallas Morning News)

The gunman who opened fire on Dallas police headquarters had reached a "breaking point" after losing custody of his son, his father said Sunday, a day after the rampage.

The gunman's mother called him "delusional."


"He mowed my yard" shortly before the Dallas shootout early Saturday morning, a grief-stricken Jim Boulware told CNN.  "Said he'd back in 10 days to mow it again."

Dallas police said in a statement Sunday that James Boulware, 35, of Paris, Texas, apparently acted alone when he sprayed bullets at police headquarters and police cars and apparently left pipe bombs near the building.

No one was harmed other than Boulware. Officials said a police sniper killed him after officers cornered his armored van miles away and he refused to surrender.

Dallas police said in the statement that 14 officers "engaged" Boulware during the incident and had been placed on leave per department policy.

Officials said Boulware told them he was upset about his custody battle. Boulware's mother was granted custody of his son in April, and a judge signed the final order June 8, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Jim Boulware said his son told him that he was headed to west Texas during his final visit. "I told him, 'Have a safe trip,'" Jim Boulware told CNN.

But he knew that his son had bought the armored van from Georgia a few days ago and that he blamed police for losing his son.

"He blamed them for taking his son. I tried to tell him the police didn't do it, the police was doing their job," Jim Boulware said, adding that James had told him he'd lost everything -- his house, his son, his job.

"I think he was trying to make a statement to get the system to understand he'd lost his son, and he lost his life," Jim Boulware told CNN.

In a statement provided to the Dallas Morning News on Saturday, James Boulware's mother said, "We lost him to mental health long before we lost him to death."

Boulware was accused of choking his mother during a 2013 incident that stemmed from an argument over religion, and officials said he'd also made threats about shooting up schools and churches.

His brother, Andrew Boulware, told the Associated Press that James Boulware had claimed he had dreamed about the December 2012 school shootings in Sandy Hook, Conn., and other disasters before they had happened.

Andrew Boulware told the AP that his brother was mentally ill but never properly diagnosed.

The Boulware family did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.


Dallas police said Sunday that they were still processing evidence and looking for witnesses. A medical examiner has not yet completed an autopsy on Boulware's remains, police said.

Follow @MattDPearce for national news