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Accused Dallas Gunman: Incident Was 'Get Out the Vote' Stunt

He said his decision to act was influenced by news events over the past several months, including the probation sentence for a wealthy young man accused of killing four people in a deadly DUI crash.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man who allegedly fired shots at Dallas first responders and called 911 about his plan to secede says it was a mission to get people to vote. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

    The man accused of shooting at Dallas firefighters Monday claims his actions were a planned publicity stunt to get people to hear his government reform crusade.

    "This is a get out the vote campaign," suspect Doug Leguin said from the Dallas County jail Thursday. "You have to do something big to get attention in this country."

    The 60-year-old resident of the Denton County town of Corinth was arrested in North Dallas after firefighters answering a 911 call reported gunfire Monday afternoon. Several bullet marks could be seen on their fire truck.

    In a long jailhouse interview with NBC 5, Leguin admitted setting a fire to lure public safety workers to the location and then calling 911 to report it.

    Raw Video: Jailhouse Interview With Suspected Gunman

    [DFW] Raw Video: Jailhouse Interview With Suspected Gunman
    Raw video from jailhouse interview with Douglas Leguin, the man suspected of firing shots at first responders Monday in north Dallas. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

    "I know what I did was crazy, but I'm going to pay for that," Leguin said. "I just got to do something to wake up America, man. I got to do something to get people out there voting. We got the perfect tool to change the government. We can completely overhaul the government. But everybody has to vote."

    Leguin said the North Dallas location was chosen at random as the first open space he came across, but he made sure it was in Dallas as a protest of recent Dallas police shootings.

    Suspected Dallas Gunman Speaks from Jail

    [DFW] Suspected Dallas Gunman Speaks from Jail
    The Denton County man suspected of opening fire on Dallas first responders and declaring secession from the United States spoke to NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff from jail. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

    "That was one of the reasons, yes," Leguin said.

    He said his decision to act was influenced by news events over the past several months, including the Tarrant County probation sentence for a wealthy young man accused of killing four people in a deadly DUI crash. The case made national headlines after the defense argued that his privileged life led him to develop a condition called "affluenza."

    Suspected Gunman Planned to Secede: 911 Call

    [DFW] Suspected Gunman Planned to Secede: 911 Call
    Dallas police released an audio recording of a 911 call allegedly placed by the man suspected of firing gunshots at firefighters in North Dallas. (Published Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014)

    "The justice system has gone upside down," Leguin said.

    Many of his political opinions seemed liberal, including support for Central American immigrant children arriving at the Texas border and opposition to attacks on President Barack Obama.

    "If you stub your toe, it's Obama's fault. And that's just stupid. That's part of the racism that has to be talked about in America," he said.

    But Leguin also claimed ownership of more than two dozen guns. He said he knows how to use them and insisted he made sure no one was wounded Monday.

    Leguin said he understands firefighters and police do not support his method. It could cost him his right to vote if convicted.

    "I had a hard time choosing this path, because I had a lot to lose. Somebody had to do it," Leguin said.

    Leguin broke into tears when asked what his wife thinks about his actions.

    "My wife loves me," he said.