Thursday, March 16, 2006

Local S.W.A.T. Action

We had a little excitement here early last week. It started when a 75 year old man punched a 92 year old woman in the chest. It turned into a S.W.A.T. standoff at a seniors' apartment complex mere blocks from my house. Here's the story. A maintenance man hear the woman shoting for help and called the police. They arrived and talked to the two, though I can't find a report of what was said. Whatever it was prompted the man to walk back to his apartment and come out shooting. Somehow, he didn't hit anyone. The officers wounded him, but he was able to retreat into the house with his assault rifle. One officer was left pinned down for hours. He couldn't move without entering the man's line of fire. Even though he had stopped firing, the officer couldn't risk it. Once the S.W.A.T. team was in place, they were able to get the officer out. By then the shooter was barricaded and unresponsive. He was also intermittently holding a handgun to his own head. So, we transitioned into standoff mode.

A lot of people were evacuated from the area and the local schools were ordered NOT to dismiss. They didn't want the kids walking home across his field of fire. My wife works at one of those schools. So, she found herself with a room full of third graders who were not allowed to go home. She had to keep them entertained and occupied until after 5! Fortunately, they were in no danger. They just had to stay put to stay out of danger. I guess it was too hard logistically to let the unaffected kids go home and move the ones who couldn't go home to another location. It made for an exciting afternoon, though a tragic one. The man shot himself at around midnight in spite of a plea from his son to surrender.

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