Client shoots father-and-son financial advisers

By Calvin Palmer

A client of a Dallas financial services company expressed his dissatisfaction this morning by shooting the father and son who run the company before turning the weapon on himself.

The 66-year-old Richard Smith and R. Chris Smith, 39, were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Richard Smith was shot in the legs, and his son was shot in the neck. Their condition is described as stable.

The gunman was also taken to the same hospital. He is in a critical condition. Police have declined to reveal more details about him.

The incident took place at the 19-floor Four Forest office tower on Merit Drive, north Dallas. The building houses the United Texas Bank.

The gunman was a dissatisfied client of the two financial advisers, said Dallas police spokesman Kevin Janse. But it was not clear exactly why the suspect opened fire inside the offices of Smith Financial.

“This individual knew his victims,” Janse said. “He was apparently disgruntled with them or had problems with them.”

An initial call to 911 ended abruptly when the caller hung up. Moments later, police received reports that shots had been fired.

“Officers got there rather quickly, and their quick response may have saved everybody’s life,” Janse said.

The two victims ran and hid after they were shot, and the gunman was looking for them when the first officers arrived. When the gunman pointed his weapon toward the officers, they fired at him but missed.

The gunman then stepped into the office suite where the father and son had their business, and shot himself.

Marcella Cavazos, a lawyer who works on the fourth floor of the building, said she heard five to six shots just before 11:00 a.m.

She said it sounded like the shots had come from the floor below, which is largely occupied by the offices of lawyers and doctors.

“We just heard the shots, and security told us not to leave,” she said.

[Based on reports by The Dallas Morning News and Associated Press.]

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