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Woman who opened fire in Dallas Love Field airport was denied gun sale twice

Portia Odufuwa, 37, has previously faced charges including arson, robbery, criminal trespass and false reporting.

By Jamie Landers

Dallas police Chief Eddie García
Dallas police Chief Eddie García addresses reporters during a news conference Tuesday about the shooting at Dallas Love Field. / Photo Credit: Elias Valverde II / Staff Photographer

Dallas police Chief Eddie García said Tuesday the woman accused of opening fire inside a terminal at Dallas Love Field airport has been prohibited from owning a firearm for years.

At a news conference at police headquarters, García said the gun Portia Odufuwa, 37, used Monday was not registered under her name, and added that she tried to buy a gun in Texas at least two times since 2016, but was denied because of an outstanding traffic warrant out of New Mexico.

It is unclear how she obtained the gun, and García said Tuesday police had not yet searched her home or talked with people she knows to discern a motive.

Odufuwa was dropped off at the airport about 11 a.m. Monday by an Uber driver. García said although the Uber driver noticed something “peculiar” about Odufuwa, they will not be involved in the investigation.

Odufuwa went inside a bathroom, then approached the Southwest Airlines ticket counter where witnesses overheard her making comments about her “husband,” who she said is celebrity singer Chris Brown.

García said she declared she needed to make an announcement and, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News, shouted “I am going to blow this [expletive] up.”

Then she pulled out a gun.

Surveillance footage shows panic

Surveillance footage from the airport, which was released Tuesday by police and does not have audio, shows dozens of people running and hitting the floor as Odufuwa fires into the air. One woman gets out of a wheelchair and scrambles behind the ticket counter as others, including Officer Ronald Cronin, shield their bodies with ticket kiosks.

At the news conference Tuesday, García said Odufuwa fired into the air three times, but a department spokeswoman later clarified that she fired twice into the air and once toward Cronin, a 15-year veteran of the department.

Police also wrote in the affidavit that a round with the “trajectory that was located in the kiosk” near where Cronin took cover “confirmed she was shooting at the officer.” The surveillance video does not clearly show Odufuwa firing toward the officer.

Cronin then shoots at the woman. Only five seconds pass between the moment Odufuwa fires her gun into the ceiling and the moment she is struck and hits the ground.

García said Cronin fired at Odufuwa eight or nine times, striking her multiple times in her “lower extremities.”

“The goal is to neutralize a threat,” García said. “You have to shoot to stop the threat.”

The footage shows three more officers join Cronin near the kiosk. In body-cam footage, one is heard saying “Put your hands up, don’t move. What are you doing?”

A ticket kiosk facing the officer’s body camera appears to have two bullet holes in its screen.

Dallas Love Field

Odufuwa pushes the gun away. As the officers move toward her, Odufuwa is heard groaning in pain while lying on her stomach, blood smeared across the floor beneath her.

An officer crouches beside her and notes a wound on her side while putting Odufuwa’s hands behind her back. As the officer’s camera shifts to the left, a woman is seen still shielding another person behind a kiosk with her body.

Odufuwa was taken to the hospital, where she underwent surgery and was stable as of Monday afternoon. No one else was injured, police said.

García praised Cronin’s bravery Tuesday, calling him a “guardian” and a “warrior.”

“I can’t teach bravery and courage. We can do all the training in the world to prepare for these types of events, but what it comes down to in the end is sheer bravery and courage,” the chief said. “I’m very proud of him.”

History of arrests

Jail records show Odufuwa faces a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant. The charge is a first-degree felony, and a conviction can result in five to 99 years or life in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

No bond or jail location information was available Tuesday afternoon, and it was unclear whether she was still in the hospital.

Odufuwa has a history of arrests, in some cases on charges that were dismissed after she was found incompetent to stand trial, according to court records.

An arson case, the most serious of those against her, stemmed from an incident in Mesquite in October 2019, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit. Officers found Odufuwa watching a house she previously lived in burn.

Odufuwa told police she set the house on fire and, when asked why, the affidavit said she responded, “I am God’s prophet, and I need an attorney, but I’m basically letting you all know that I am the cause of this fire.”

Other charges against her include robbery, criminal trespass and false reporting — all filed in cities across North Texas over the past several years.

Odufuwa was accused of robbing a bank in Wylie in April 2019.

Wylie police said Odufuwa entered the Bank of America in the 1300 block of West FM544 and displayed a note demanding an undisclosed amount of money. Customers were moved to a safe location, and responding officers found Odufuwa nearby as she tried to flee, police said.

Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said the agency was not notified of the robbery. When asked why, he said he didn’t know.

Odufuwa was found incompetent to stand trial and underwent both inpatient and outpatient treatment. The case was eventually dismissed, court records show.

It was unclear Tuesday what mental health diagnoses Odufuwa had that led to her being found incompetent.

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