DALLAS – A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half brother called the FBI about his concerns, said their mother, Nubia Brede Solis. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
Last Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.
The special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI office, Matthew DeSarno, could not immediately be reached for comment.
But a federal law enforcement official confirmed the half brother called a national hotline on July 1, 2016, leaving a message to report that Clyde was "suicidal and had a fascination with guns."
But the official said the half brother didn't report a threat against an entity or individual, so the FBI couldn't seize Clyde's weapons.
The half brother declined to comment Thursday.
"I think he wanted to die," Solis said Wednesday.
She said her son had been in a mental institution for two weeks about five or six months before he was discharged from the Army in 2017. He was placed in a civilian hospital in Louisiana during a training exercise at Fort Polk that simulated combat conditions.
An Army spokesman said Wednesday the military would not release information about a soldier's medical records.
His stepmother, 42-year-old Heather Clyde, said Wednesday that the family believes he went to the federal building so authorities would kill him.
"That's our feeling. He knew there had been a shooting down there. He knew it was a well-armed area," she said.
Asked if he had any idea why his son shot up the federal building Monday, Paul Clyde shook his head and said he didn't know.
"I ultimately think he didn't want to hurt anybody," he said, adding that he believes his son "went down there purely for suicide by cop. I don't have any other insights," he said. "That's just the gut feeling I have of my boy."
Public records show Clyde had no history of violence. Mental health struggles do not automatically prevent someone from owning a gun.
Because the FBI had no legal reason to pursue an investigation, no further action was taken.
Federal policy was changed after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Now, warnings like the one about Clyde are routed to police departments where the calls originated so local officers can follow up and ask the caller for more details.
Brede Solis said the FBI never spoke to her about the warning call. She said the half brother told her about it when she called to tell him Clyde had been killed.
Clyde, a former Vandergrift High School student, enlisted in the Army right out of high school.
Solis recently found a report in Clyde's military paperwork saying he had suicidal thoughts as early as six months after his enlistment – about February 2016.
Clyde served at Fort Campbell in Kentucky for about 18 months before he was honorably discharged in February 2017. Typically, those who enlist serve for four years.
(c)2019 The Dallas Morning News