Man Opens Fire at Ft. Worth City Hall

8-10-05 - The city's development director was shot at inside City Hall on Wednesday morning, apparently by an irate citizen who was quickly subdued by others in the building.

City Development Director Bob Riley reportedly avoided injury when he dove behind a desk on the ground floor of City Hall, officials and observers said.

The 8 a.m. gunfire came as officials were preparing for the monthly zoning meeting, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition Wednesday.

The suspect was quickly taken into custody after other people grabbed him. His name was not immediately released. Shortly after, the building was evacuated.

"All I saw after I heard the gunshot was a man pointing a gun at the desk. After I saw that, I backed away," said Cary Everett, a city inspector. "At the time I didn't know that Bob Riley was under the desk."

City Councilman Donavan Wheatfall, who was not at City Hall, was among those who was told the shooter went after Riley.

"I don't know the reasons," Wheatfall said. "The best thing for us to do is to figure out his motives and see what we can do to prevent this in the future."

City Council members recently discussed whether to beef up security at City Hall, hearing proposals ranging from adding drug-sniffing dogs to metal detectors.

The proposed 2005-06 budget includes $230,000 to address security enhancements in the building.

"It makes you have concerns," Wheatfall said. "On at least council nights, we need to look at metal detectors at the doors."