Police: Man found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound at end of 25-hour standoff
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they are conducting a death investigation after a 25-hour standoff between a barricaded man and law enforcement ended Monday when the individual was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department tweeted just before 1 p.m. that the standoff had concluded.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, at 11:50 a.m. Sunday, officers went to Prideland Court - right off Tryon Street near Lake Wylie Elementary School - after getting a report that someone was threatening suicide, according to the CMPD.
When police arrived in the Lions Gate community, they said they encountered the man in the driveway armed with a shotgun. He eventually went into a garage and refused to come out of the home.
The surrounding area was evacuated and officers attempted to de-escalate the situation peacefully, they said. The CMPD’s SWAT team was requested once the individual went into the residence and wouldn’t come back out.
Negotiators, as well as family and friends, spoke to the man on the phone for more than 24 hours to try and resolve the situation, according to law enforcement. The individual, who regularly held the shotgun, fired one round inside the condo at 4 a.m. Monday, police said.
Shortly before 12:30 p.m. on Monday, officers said they heard a gunshot from inside the residence and saw the man fall to the ground. Once they went inside, authorities pronounced the individual dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the CMPD.
No officers were injured or discharged their weapons during the standoff. The investigation into this case is active and ongoing, according to the CMPD.
Early Monday morning, portions of Tryon Street were closed to allow for first responders on scene.
Retired and former CMPD chief Darrel Stephens, who has decades of law enforcement experience, says police must look at several options to deescalate a standoff. That ranges from waiting it out as what happened in this case -- to just going inside a home and trying to get the suspect.
“The suspect does have an awful lot to do with the decisions and choices police make on whether to wait 24 hours or to intervene immediately,” he said.
He says the goal is always for the situation to end with no one hurt.
In the case when a person is going through a mental crisis, Stephens says the best move is to always wait it out.
He also says a massive response is normal -- particularly due to how long the standoff lasted.
“In this situation, the length of time, they had to relieve people...people prepared to take up positions and provide relief for folks. That would require greater response than normal. But it’s not unusual for these armed encounters for you to get a pretty significant response,” he added.
Neighbors said they didn’t know what was happening when the standoff began, but they certainly didn’t expect this.
“I thought there was a giant wreck at first, when I came down here. I just thought there was some giant wreck and something was happening. I didn’t know what was happening because I could only see from my apartment,” one neighbor said.
Neighbors said Monday that people either couldn’t leave or couldn’t get back into the neighborhood. One of them talked about the chaos of seeing first responders swarm the area with guns and he ended up in a situation himself.
“We drove over the spikes and busted our tires on our car trying to get out of the neighborhood yesterday,” Lions Gate resident Charles Beasley said. “So it was really a lot of mayhem yesterday and they didn’t tell us details. We didn’t know what was going on. We want to have compassion for the person that is barricaded inside of the house because we don’t know what’s going on with him or his mental state and we also don’t want the police to rush in and do anything drastic and have the family mourning, the whole community mourning.”
School buses and heavier traffic could be seen around 5:30 a.m. Monday on Tryon Street. CMPD officials, in accordance with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, asked all students in the Lions Gate neighborhood who typically get picked up by school buses to be picked up at two different locations Monday:
- South Tryon Street and Lions Mane Street
- South Tryon Street and Erwin Road
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