Police snipers in the US have shot and killed a man after he attacked the police headquarters in Dallas and planted bombs.

Officers from the Dallas Police Department's specialised SWAT unit shot the suspect in Saturday's attack through the front windshield of the armoured van he used in his attack, then shortly afterwards opened fire on the man, local police chief David Brown said.

A post on the department's Twitter feed said the suspect was presumed dead, after there had been no contact with the man for four hours.

Police sent in a bomb disposal robot to examine the vehicle and determine whether the suspect was dead.

"After the robot clears the van and we're able to identify the deceased, what we believe is the deceased, inside the van," technicians will collect evidence, Brown said.

The violence began just after midnight when a van, described by witnesses as an armoured vehicle, rammed into police squad cars at the headquarters and someone inside opened fire.

Police had earlier suggested there may have been up to four suspects, but Brown said police now believed that only one suspect shot from different angles and positions.

Brown said the incident arose from an issue surrounding custody of the suspect's child.

"He doesn't show to be in our databases on any terrorism watch list or anything like that," Brown said. "So it may have just been a rant."

 

The suspect identified himself but police were not immediately able to confirm his identity.

The Dallas Police Association, which represents Dallas officers, said on Twitter that the suspect "had three family violence cases against him. [He] was very disgruntled against law enforcement and the criminal justice system".

The suspect also planted at least one pipe bomb, which detonated as a bomb robot tried to move it.

No one was injured, but photographs published by police showed several vehicles were damaged in the blast.

Brown earlier said other pipe bombs had been found in one of four duffle bags that were "dispersed throughout the front and side of police headquarters."

Source: Al Jazeera And AFP