Woman shooter at Dallas airport has criminal history, tried to rob bank, but was deemed not to be a threat to the public

After a woman reportedly began shooting at a Dallas airport Monday, police identified the suspect as a known criminal previously determined incompetent to stand trial with a history of unstable claims about marriage to a rapper and being “God’s prophet.”

Dallas Love Field, located about six miles from downtown Dallas, Texas, is the corporate headquarters and birthplace of Southwest Airlines, the primary airline of the airport. It is also where 37-year-old Portia Odufuwa was said to have opened fire with a gun late Monday morning.

As KDFW reported, Odufuwa was dropped off at the airport before 11 a.m. where she then proceeded to a restroom, changed clothes and then returned to the ticketing area where she drew a firearm and began shooting toward the ceiling, an estimated 12 shots.

CBS 11 reporter J.D. Miles posted videos caught by witnesses to social media that show officers quickly responding to the threat and subduing the suspect who was shot in her lower extremities.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia explained when officers responded, “At this point, we don’t know where the individual was aiming most now. Is she aiming at the ceiling? Our officer engages the suspect, striking her in the lower extremities. She is taken into custody and is currently at Parkland Hospital.”

Since that point, it was revealed that Odufuwa has a history of criminal behavior including trespass, robbery, false reporting and a 2019 arson case where she called herself “God’s prophet,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

At the time, police arrived on scene at a house fire in Mesquite, Texas where they found the suspect standing outside wanting to speak with them. She reportedly told the officers, “I am God’s prophet, and I need an attorney, but I’m basically letting you know that I am the cause of this fire.”

The home had been set on fire multiple times and neighbors alleged that Odufuwa was responsible for those incidents. The home was where she reportedly lived at some point. That case was dismissed due to a lack of scientific evidence.

In a separate 2021 incident, the suspect had pulled the fire alarm at a hotel she was staying at after growing upset that they refused to extend her stay. When asked by police where she lived, she provided the address to rapper Chris Brown’s mansion and falsely claimed to be his wife.

Judge Kristin Wade determined her to be incompetent to stand trial and it was expected that Odufuwa would enter a mental health treatment program, which it is believed she did not complete. She had also attempted to rob a Bank of America in Wylie, Texas in 2019 and despite her history, she was deemed not to be a threat to the public.

Witnesses on the scene described the incident to KDFW and the panic that was caused by the suspect’s actions.

“The woman came and was like making an announcement saying somebody failed her husband or something and said, ‘I’m about to blow this place up.’ All of a sudden, she brandished the gun and started ‘Pop, pop’ in the air. All I can do is run. I’m thinking I’m not…moving fast enough because I keep hearing shots like I’m gonna die in here,” Ashley Wycoff said.

Treneice Bailey said the airport staff, “pushed us all back and told us to go into the lost luggage area. Everybody was scared. Some people were crying there. It’s a variety of children.”

Kristen Smith was accompanied by her 10-year-old son and told the New York Post, “At first, I just saw a teenage girl running and thought, ‘she’s just trying to catch a flight’ and then behind her, a whole crowd just running. In the climate we are in now with all the shootings we had, people just reacted.”

Dallas Love Field released a statement on the incident and explained, “At approximately 11:23 a.m. Monday, July 25, the Dallas Police Department reported and immediately responded to shots fired in the Dallas Love Field terminal. An evacuation and shelter-in-place commenced as DPD investigated, confirmed, and neutralized the single, shooter threat. At this time, no other injuries have been reported.” Operations were suspended, but resumed shortly thereafter.

For safety concerns, all passengers were subjected to an additional security screening.

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