Shooting at Fort Worth City Hall Makes Security a Top Priority

Suspect allegedly shot at municipal official; council had recently discussed adding metal detectors


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A man was charged with attempted murder Wednesday after he entered City Hall before a monthly zoning meeting and shot at a city official, police said.

City Development Director Bob Riley escaped injury by diving behind a desk, police said.

Ray Dean Redding, 42, of Fort Worth, was being held in lieu of $200,000 bond, spokesman Lt. Dean Sullivan said. After the shot was fire, he was subdued by other people nearby.

Sullivan said Redding gave no motive for the shooting and requested a lawyer when authorities tried to interview him.

"All I saw after I heard the gunshot was a man pointing a gun at the desk. After I saw that, I backed away," said Cary Everett, a city inspector. "At the time I didn't know that Bob Riley was under the desk."

Redding's gun had two rounds remaining in it, Sullivan said.

The shooting happened as officials prepared for a monthly zoning meeting around 8 a.m. A panic alarm, part of the city's security system, went off shortly afterward, Sullivan said, and the building was evacuated.

City Council members recently discussed whether to beef up security at City Hall, hearing proposals ranging from adding drug-sniffing dogs to metal detectors. The proposed 2005-06 budget includes $230,000 to address security enhancements in the building.

Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said security is now a "top priority."

"City leaders are evaluating the situation and the security of our city employees and our citizens," he said. "We will do whatever is needed to address this issue."