DALLAS (AP) — A woman accused of firing several gunshots inside a Dallas airport faces a charge of aggravated assault of a public servant because she allegedly fired one round toward a police officer, according to a warrant.
The officer shot and wounded Portia Odufuwa, who was taken to a hospital after Monday’s shooting at Dallas Love Field Airport. Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a Tuesday news conference that Odufuwa, who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, could face additional charges.
Odufuwa, who had no luggage, entered the ticketing area, then went into a restroom, emerging with her hands in the pockets of a hooded sweatshirt, according to the arrest warrant. Garcia said that she then walked into the ticketing area and said she had an announcement to make.
“Witnesses say Odufuwa started to ramble, talking about a marriage, incarceration and that she was going to blow up the airport and then pulls a handgun from her sweatshirt,” Garcia said.
She fired two rounds in the ceiling before Dallas Officer Ronald Cronin told her to drop the weapon and she then fired in his direction, the arrest warrant said. Garcia said Cronin took cover behind a self check-in kiosk and fired, striking her multiple times. Cronin was not struck, nor was anyone besides Odufuwa.
Surveillance footage released by police shows people ducking behind kiosks, falling to the ground and running as Odufuwa begins firing.
Garcia lauded Cronin’s actions, saying he not only “didn’t hesitate” in engaging the suspect, but also tried to help guide others in the area to safety. “I know his actions saved lives and prevented more injuries,” Garcia said.
Jail records do not list an attorney who is representing Odufuwa.
Garcia has said Odufuwa was shot in her “lower extremities.” He said Tuesday that she had undergone surgery and was stable.
Operations at Love Field, one of the Dallas-Fort Worth-area’s two major airports, were suspended for hours and dozens of flights were canceled following the shooting.
Garcia said authorities are still investigating a motive, but Odufuwa has been arrested several times in recent years and has been found incompetent for trial more than once.
A judge last year found her incompetent to stand trial after she was charged with making a false report, court records show. The judge found that she wasn’t a danger to others and referred her to outpatient mental health services.
In that case, she was accused of pulling a fire alarm at a hotel after her request to extend her stay was denied, according to police in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite. Records show the charge was dismissed.
In 2019, she was found incompetent for trial in a bank robbery in suburban Wylie, The Dallas Morning News reported. She underwent treatment, and court records show the case was eventually dismissed.
Also that year, she was arrested for arson after telling a police officer who had responded to a house fire in Mesquite that she started it and was “God’s prophet,” according to a police report. She also told police she was married to singer Chris Brown, the police report said. The Dallas County district attorney’s office said that charge was rejected for lack of scientific evidence to support a conviction.
On Monday at the airport, she also was heard making comments about Brown, according to the arrest warrant.
Garcia said that Odufuwa has been prohibited from possessing a firearm since August 2018. He said police were working with federal authorities to figure out where she got the gun.
“It wasn’t hers. It was not registered to her. Obviously, she got it from somebody else, but we’re trying to figure out precisely where,” Garcia said.