GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 13, 2012

Update: Man surrenders after 5-hour standoff; teargas used

By Andrea Holbrook and Desi Smith
Staff Writers

---- — An armed man who had barricaded himself for 5 hours in a Beauport Avenue home last night surrendered this morning.

Police had surrounded the house around 9 last night. The man said he was going to harm himself, according to witness.

Negotiators from the Gloucester Police Department and North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council called the man repeatedly on the phone, a source said. One negotiator, using a bullhorn, several times asked the man to pick up the phone or come out and speak with them. The negotiators repeatedly told the man that they didn’t want to hurt him, “that everyone has a bad day,” and to just come out and talk.

The man, who was armed with a handgun, demanded to speak to a person he named because said he didn’t trust certain people or the police.

A crew was called in from National Grid to cut the power to the house around midnight, in hopes that the man inside would become uncomfortable enough to come out, witnesses said.

Shortly after, police shot teargas into the windows, to try to force the man out of the home. The man soon came to the front door, brandishing a silver gun, and spoke to police for few minutes, sometimes yelling, before going back inside.

Police then shot some more gas into the home.

The man came out of the front door, holding a rag to his face and his gun to his head, a witness said.

The man would not put gun down, but stood on the porch talking with police. Most of the time he held the gun to head, witnesses said, while negotiators repeatedly asked him to put it down.

The police shot some more teargas onto the porch, and a witness said the man started yelling and dancing around to try to avoid the gas. The man then tried to throw the teargas canisters off the porch, while still holding the gun.

The man stayed on the porch, standing behind a column, and kept talking with police. He finally came out in the open, and after more back and forth with police, decided to surrender.

Saying, “I’m putting the gun down,” he put it on the porch railing, put his hands in the air, and walked down front steps where he was meet by members of the SWAT, who him told to get down on the ground. The man laid down and a SWAT member cuffed him. SWAT then turned him over to the Gloucester Police Department.

No injuries were reported, according to NEMLEC.

An officer at the Gloucester Police Department said no other information about the incident would be available until 11:45 this morning, when Chief Leonard Campanello would speak.

Witnesses at the scene said there were police snipers on the roofs of neighboring houses, and another sniper in a vehicle in front of the home. Police also had large, bright lights shining on the home.

Campanello and Gloucester police Detective Jeremiah Nicastro were on scene last night. Police has blocked off Beauport Avenue and part of Gloucester Avenue during the standoff. Police were using the end of Gloucester Avenue at Washington Street as a staging area.

Residents were asked to stay in their homes, and keep their doors locked during the incident.

We will update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information becomes available. To have text updates regarding this story and other local Breaking News coverage sent to your mobile phone, just sign up for the Times’ free text-alert service on the gloucestertimes.com homepage.

For more up-to-date coverage, follow the Times news team on Facebook or on Twitter.com @gdtnews.

For full coverage, look to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.

Andrea Holbrook may be contacted by at 978-283-7000 x3456, or aholbrook@gloucestertimes.com. Photographer Desi Smith contributed to this story.