SWAT Surrounds Lufkin Home During Standoff - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/11/06 - Lufkin

SWAT Surrounds Lufkin Home During Standoff

by Ramonica R. Jones

Dozens of armed officers swarmed a Lufkin neighborhood Tuesday. Streets near Betty Road were blocked off and neighbors were told to stay inside while SWAT officers had the house surrounded. They were trying to calm an unstable man inside armed with a gun.

The suspect was threatening to hurt himself after his girlfriend broke up with him just moments earlier at her apartment. The woman called police after she became afraid for his life.

Lt. David Young said, "The man left the apartment before officers arrived. We came to his residence. When the first officers got here, he came out and then he ran back inside. He was armed with a high powered rifle and threatening to harm himself, so we called out the Special Response Team to come and secure the perimeter and try to talk this fellow out."

The man surrendered peacefully. His name was not released because he was taken into custody for a mental evaluation.

The people who live on Betty Road were frightened their lives might be in danger. Many of them have lived in that neighborhood for years and call their community quiet and close-knit.

Maxine Ross has lived on Esther Street for more than 20 years. During that time, not much excitement has happened around there. She was inside eating lunch with her family when that suddenly changed.

"I really don't know what happened," Ross said. "We were eating lunch and all these police and ambulance and everything was out here, so I really don't know what happened."

Beverly Smith's only lived on Betty Road for a year. Her home is just a few houses down from where the short standoff happened. She was outside with her grandson when officers started swarming her street.

"Officers drove through looking for, I guess, an address or something, and right after that we seen a lot of other officers come through and they told us to quietly go into our homes because it was a situation that was happening and they were trying to get it under control."

Not long after the standoff started, authorities arrested their suspect. He was still armed with a deer rifle. Authorities said he did not commit a crime, so he's not likely to face charges. His neighbors aren't used to so much activity around there and from now on, they'd like to keep it that way.

Residents near the house were not evacuated, but they were warned to stay inside their homes until the suspect was in custody.

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