Dallas, Texas – The suspect who was arrested early October, three days after the Dallas apartment explosion incident, believed to be responsible for the incident shared new details with the authorities of what had happened that day.
According to police report, the Dallas apartment gas explosion incident that took place at the building at the Highland Hills Apartments in Oak Cliff late September, left eight people injured including several firefighters.
The investigation showed that the reason for the explosion was a bullet that hit the gas line in the apartment fired by the 28-year-old Phillip Dankins who was arrested three days after the incident.
The police released additional information regarding the incident after Dankins shared additional information with them since the explosion.
Before the explosion, the suspect was arguing with his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, and he left the scene after the argument. While they were arguing outside the apartment complex, a neighbor had been protecting the mother and child.
Shortly after the argument, Dankins returned at the scene and fired several rounds into the apartment. One of the bullets traveled through a hose behind an oven, which severed the gas line and started a leak.
The gas leak resulted with explosion a few hours later, the next morning, leaving eight people injured, including four civilians and four firefighters who were transferred to hospital for additional treatment.
Dankins has been the main suspect believed to caused the explosion since day one. The neighbors from the surrounding apartments knew him despite the fact that he was not living there. They also knew his girlfriend who was living in the apartment complex with a family relative.
The night when Dankins had an argument with his girlfriend, a neighbor took her with the child in his apartment, protecting them from Dankins. He tried to follow them, but decided to leave the scene as soon as the protecting neighbor took his gun and pointed at Dankins. Afraid that Dankins might come back, the neighbor, Dankins’ girlfriend and the child left the apartment to an undisclosed location.
Police say Dankins later “returned to the location and shot several rounds into the front door, and side windows… One of the bullets went through the hose behind the oven causing a gas leak.”
The leak continued unnoticed in the empty unit for several hours until later that morning at about 10 a.m. when neighbors smelled gas and called 911.
As soon as the fire crews arrived at the scene, four of them started checking the building when the explosion took place. The firefighter Pauline Perez, who was checking that unit, immediately smelled the gas and suffered the most serious injuries as the explosion happened while Perez was about the leave the unit. Perez was “thrown 30 feet and suffered 3rd degree burns to her arms and hands, along with 2nd degree burns to her thighs.”
The firefighter who was at the entrance door suffered second degree burns and broke his right leg. The third firefighter was in the breezeway and blown backwards into a neighboring apartment, suffering broken bones in both legs and several burns all over his body. The fourth firefighter, Andrew Curtis, was outside and injured his right foot.
Three apartment employees were also injured. A female employee was hit by broken glass, one man had singed hair and the third has second degree burns to both his arms.
The arson investigators found the bullet that damaged the gas line and they were able to easily connect the bullet with Dankins’ weapon since a tenant found a shell casing outside the apartment a short time before the explosion.
The suspect was arrested three days after the incident in his home where he still had the weapon used in the incident. At the time of the arrest, Dankins was charged with family violence charges.
The people living in the apartment complex still have a long way to fully recovery as the damage is huge and will surely take time, effort and money to get things done.
“He did cause a lot to everybody over here, not just me. It displaced all of us,” Dankins’ girlfriend Roshunda Tilley said.