Investigators: Man Shot into Dallas Apartment, Causing Blast That Injured Firefighters

Highland Hills blast
A Texas Railroad Commission official, left, is guided up a Dallas Fire and Rescue ladder truck by a firefighter to take scene photos following an apartment explosion on the 5700 block of Highland Hills Drive in southeast Dallas, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. A natural-gas explosion tore apart an apartment building, injuring three people and four firefighters who arrived on scene to investigate the smell of natural gas. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)

DALLAS (AP) — Fire investigators believe a man shot into a Dallas apartment and hit a gas line, causing an explosion that injured seven people, including four firefighters, authorities said.

Police said Tuesday that Phillip Dankins, 28, faces seven felony counts of deadly conduct, according to the Dallas Morning News. They said in a statement that Dankins was associated with the Sept. 29 explosion but declined to provide details.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said investigators believe Dankins shot into an apartment and damaged a gas line connected to a stove.

Firefighters were investigating a report of a natural gas leak at the two-story complex the next morning, and reported smelling gas just before the blast partially collapsed the building, Dallas Fire-Rescue said in a statement.

One of the firefighters was released from the hospital last week. Two remain hospitalized.

It’s unclear what led to the shooting, but the mother of Dankins’ child lived at the complex, according to KTVT-TV.

Dankins has been in Dallas County Jail since early October on other charges. As of Tuesday, he was being held on $100,000 bail. But that does not include the charges of deadly conduct.

His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment by the Dallas Morning News.

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