Downtown Dallas residents upset police chief missed second meeting

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After gunfire was heard near a high rise in Downtown Dallas overnight Tuesday, a neighborhood association says police aren't doing enough to help them.

Residents say they heard the gunfire around 12:30 a.m. near North Saint Paul and Live Oak Street just outside the One Dallas Center building that houses apartments and offices. On Wednesday, a window was boarded up.

The Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association has been very involved in safety talks in the area. But they're upset that they aren't getting information from police on incidents like this.

Dallas police didn't release information on the overnight incident until 9 p.m. Wednesday. They say the building was not targeted. They say siblings nearby Tuesday night got into a fight. There was a struggle over a gun when shots were fired, breaking the seventh-floor window.

The neighborhood association also says Dallas Police Chief Rene Hall stood them up on two meetings with them.

A board now covers a section of the window belonging to a business based in One Dallas center. Residents who live on the upper floors of the downtown high rise did not sleep easily after hearing gunfire overnight.

“It was probably a minute and a half long, but it seemed like an eternity,” One Dallas Center resident Michelle Gallegos.

“I ended up ducking under my window because I was that close by,” said resident Kristina Paterson.

Residents tell FOX 4 they saw crews covering the window on Wednesday and got a note on their doors that said there had been noises that "sounded like gunfire," but "no reports of injuries."

The incident has alarmed people in a place they usually feel safe.

“I feel like this is the safest place to live in Dallas, that's why I live here,” Paterson said.

Tyler Lea with the Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association says they are growing impatient.

“It seems like every three months I’m back here talking about something else,” Lea said.

The group posted a statement on social media saying “our streets were already bad enough, but now apparently even the safety of living in a high-level apartment is in question.”

The group points to other incidents, like in September when two women were attacked in a high-rise. In 2016, Sarah Hoff was attacked in her downtown apartment parking garage.

Lea says the neighborhood association was supposed to meet with Chief Hall in November, but she had to cancel. When they rescheduled for last week, they say she was again a no-show, which the group says sends a message.

“That we're not important. That downtown is just going to go the way downtown is going. The chief doesn't really care about downtown,” Lea said. “I would like to see some action from police, from the chief, especially the leadership of DPD.”

Chief Hall’s staff sent a statement to FOX 4 late Tuesday afternoon explained why she missed the meeting. They said in both cases she got tied up in other meetings and sent others from the police department on her behalf.

In a statement Chief Hall’s staff said, “It is never the intention of the chief nor any representative of the office of the chief of police to miss scheduled appearances. It is important to note often times the chief is double to triple booked. This is not due to negligence. It is more an effort to meet and accommodate as many requests for the chief's presence as possible.”

Chief Hall’s staff says they’re trying to reschedule the meeting with the Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association.