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Dallas standoff ends as man falls to death from crane

Tim Sharp / Reuters

Police cruisers block an intersection leading to the scene of the construction crane standoff in Dallas, Texas, Monday.

DALLAS -- The standoff between Dallas police and a man that climbed to the top of a construction crane on the campus of Southern Methodist University ended early Tuesday morning, when the man fell to his death.

At about 1 a.m. Dallas police used bright lights, loud directional sirens and the police helicopter to distract the man, while four SWAT officers climbed the crane to storm the cab believed to be 100 to 150 feet above the ground.

Police say the man sprayed a WD-40-like substance at officers as they entered the cab. He then climbed out the smashed windshield of the cab.

"He retreated to a position in the crane where he had one leg in a window and one leg outside the window, from there he went over the edge, and clung to the edge for a moment before he fell to his death," said Dallas Deputy Chief Randy Blankenbaker.

The man fell just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, ending a roughly 14-hour standoff.

"We at SMU are relieved this situation has been resolved and the campus is secure. We all regret the loss of life," said SMU spokesman Brad Cheves.

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Throughout the day, the suspect dropped items from the crane cab, including his shirt and shoes, some cans, a fire extinguisher, and other items that may have been inside the cab.

Tim Sharp / Reuters

A robbery suspect sits in the cab of a construction crane on the SMU campus, Monday.

Sources tell NBC 5 the man may have become ill during the standoff and vomited, perhaps due to the heat.

As night fell, Dallas police used a spotlight to shine light into the crane. Police also used noise machines to keep the man awake and talking.

Man is suspect in armed robbery
Police did confirmed Tuesday the man is the suspect connected to an overnight robbery about 2:30 a.m. Monday and that police dogs tracked the man's scent to the construction site.

David Cantu said he was putting sound and lighting equipment into the truck outside the Adolphus Hotel when a man jumped in and tried to stab him with something sharp, possibly a nail.

"I said, What are you doing?'" Cantu said. "He swung his arm at me with a sharp object and for the most part, I just backed off and let him do his thing."

Cantu said the man sped away, hitting several cars parked along Main Street.

"You hear a big bang multiple times," he said. "He's hitting multiple cars at that point."

The stolen truck was later found not far from the crane, according to police.

Chris Ghanbari, a freelance photographer who lives in a building overlooking the scene, got out his video camera and started rolling.

"I just started shooting a minute -- a minute-and-a-half -- of video of the crime scene," Ghanbari said. "About 30 minutes later, we had 10 to 15 police cars out there."

Here is his video:

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