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Man Charged for Causing Dallas Apartment Explosion

City & State

Phillip Dankins, man charged for causing the Highland Hills Apartment Complex Explosion. | Image from Dallas County Jail

Dallas police have arrested a 28-year-old man for causing the Sept. 29 Highland Hills Apartment Complex explosion that injured eight people, including four Dallas firefighters.

According to police reports, Phillip Dankins, 28, allegedly fired his gun into an apartment. Dankins’ shot hit a stove and cut its gas line.

As reported by the Dallas Express, Dallas firefighters were called to the building at the Highland Hills Apartments in Oak Cliff over reports of gas leakage. However, the building exploded just as firefighters were investigating the apartment.

Dallas police did not reveal what led to the shooting but said Dankins had been involved in an altercation with another individual. Police did not reveal the individual’s identity, but KTVT-TV (Channel 11) reported that Dankins’ child’s mother lived at the apartment complex. Dankins has been charged with seven counts of deadly conduct.

Dankins was arrested on Oct. 2 by police officers investigating a burglary call in Mesquite after he ran from them. According to court records, authorities found drugs and a .380 Ruger handgun in a backpack in Dankins’ possession.

Dankins is currently being held on a $100,000 bond. His bond does not include charges related to the explosion.

Together with the seven counts of deadly conduct, Dankins also faces charges of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance. The Dallas Police Department revealed that Dankins’ arrest was made possible through the assistance of the ATF and arson investigators.

One of the Dallas firefighters injured in the gas explosion was Captain Christopher Gadomski. Gadomski, 49, has been in the hospital ever since he was critically wounded in the blast. Around twenty-five percent of the 49-year-old’s body was severely burned, and he broke both of his legs. Another injured firefighter was released over the weekend.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie García appreciated the work of his officers and the efforts of the Dallas Fire-Rescue investigators and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. He added that the “relentless follow-up” carried out by all the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation is what the community needs and deserves.

On Tuesday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he was thankful for the diligent investigation by authorities. Johnson added that “justice must be served” for the sake of those negatively impacted by the explosion.

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