When reporters in a Texas newsroom were evacuated by the police on Wednesday, Sept. 5 after a truck crashed into a Dallas FOX4 news station, a few reporters remained on the air and got to work covering the crash. An unidentified man crashed a truck into the side of the building multiple times and was taken into police custody that morning, FOX4 reports. Despite the chaos, FOX4 reporters were able to cover the dangerous scene at their own newsroom.
FOX4 reporter Brandon Todd reported that the driver said something about "high treason" and ranted about the sheriffs department after the crash. Photos of the scene show papers littering the sidewalk and street, as well as the building's floor-to-ceiling windows smashed. No injuries have been reported and a bomb squad showed up at the scene to investigate a bag that the driver left behind, per FOX4.
"Scary moment this morning when a man drove his truck into our building. We evacuated while the bomb squad is investigating," FOX4 reporter Shannon Murray tweeted Wednesday morning. She later added: "The man is in custody. We evacuated and I am safe... thanks everyone for reaching out with calls and texts!"
FOX4 photojournalists caught photos of the driver placing boxes full of paper next to one of the building's doors that reportedly contained his writings. Though the station's reporters wrote on Twitter that the crash was deliberate, they said it's unclear what message the man was trying to send.
"#BreakingNews hitting close to home this morning," FOX4 anchor Steve Noviello tweeted Wednesday morning. "Man intentionally slams his truck into our building repeatedly crashing through two walls of windows. Police and bomb squad on scene."
The station's Good Day broadcast remained on air as a police K-9 unit and a remote controlled bomb robot inspected the area. "This morning the news came to us," the show's Twitter account posted, along with a series of photos showing the busted windows and police response.
Though the driver's motive is unclear, United Nations freedom of speech experts have claimed that President Donald Trump's rhetoric criticizing journalists has increased the risk of violence toward the press.
"These attacks run counter to the country’s obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law," said Edison Lanza and David Kaye, the special rapporteurs on freedom of expression for the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in a joint statement released on Aug. 2. "We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence."
Their statement added that every time Trump "calls the media 'the enemy of the people' or fails to allow questions from reporters from disfavoured outlets he suggests nefarious motivations or animus."
Again, it's not known whether the Dallas driver was affected by Trump's words, but the experts believe the president's actions are changing how the public views member of the press.
As the news goes, the Dallas reporters shifted to covering other events throughout the Dallas area as the chaos died down. "Thankful my colleagues are ok," FOX4 reporter Lori Brown tweeted.