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Man dies after US police station shoot-out

A 29-year-old man towed a trailer full of explosives into a suburban Dallas police station's parking lot, then set fire to his pick-up truck and began shooting at the building, authorities said today.

Patrick Gray Sharp died after a shootout with officers, but it is unclear whether he was killed by an officer's bullet or one of his own, McKinney police Chief Doug Kowalski said.

No one else was hurt during the clash on Tuesday morning, which led a local college to lock down its campus and alert students and faculty to stay home.

Sharp may have intended to lure people from the police station so he could shoot at them from a field across the street where he had taken position, Mr Kowalski said. He also may have intended to kill them by blowing up the trailer, he said.

The fire set off ammunition in the truck but failed to ignite the trailer, which was filled with wood chips, ammonium nitrate, petrol and road flares, Mr Kowalski said.

Investigators found an assault rifle, a shotgun and a handgun on Sharp. He fired at least 100 rounds at the police station, and the chief counted at least 23 bullet strikes on the building.

Sharp was found dead after police fired an unknown number of rounds while pursuing him in a line of trees where he had taken cover and into an open field near Collin College, the chief said.

It wasn't clear how Sharp died, but Mr Kowalski said a witness indicated he might have shot himself. The chief said investigators have not determined why Sharp initiated the attack in the suburb of roughly 127,000 people north of Dallas.

His room-mate, Eric McClellan said there was nothing about Sharp that would lead him to believe he would try to attack police.