12/01/2006

Nine-hour standoff in Tex. ends in arrest

By Lisa Marie Gómez
San Antonio Express-News

San Antonio, TX- What started with a call of shots being fired minutes before sunrise Thursday ended with a swarm of SWAT officers running down Vance Jackson with a handcuffed 25-year-old suspect following a nine-hour standoff with police.

No one was hurt in the incident.

The suspect, who had not been identified at press time, is facing charges of terroristic threats and deadly conduct, said San Antonio Police Department spokes- woman Sandy Gutierrez.

The ordeal began at about 6:15 a.m. when a man, dressed in black, reportedly fired off multiple shots with a high-powered rifle after he and his father were heard arguing inside a near North Side home at Storeywood and Vance Jackson, police and neighbors said.

The father later left the house without injury, but the armed man remained inside and held police at bay.

Around 11 a.m., a young woman slipped past a heavy barricade and a roped off three-block area, jumped a fence and then knocked on the back door of the armed man's house. He let her inside.

"She's not helping the negotiation process," Sgt. Gabe Trevino said at one point, without elaborating on the woman's relationship to the man. "She is someone who is very close to him."

The young woman left the house after 2:30 p.m. and was facing charges of interference with duties of public servants.

Police evacuated several nearby houses to keep residents safe, but a 35-year-old woman who suffers from epilepsy stayed in her home next door to the standoff.

"I just want to dart over there, you know," said a tearful Jimmy, the woman's father who didn't want his last name published.

The woman was supposed to go to an adult daycare center but instead decided to stay home. Jimmy left for work before 6 a.m. and didn't hear about the standoff until his other daughter, who lives in Washington, read about it on the Internet and called him.

"I'm so worried -- so, so worried," he said as he stood on a corner a block away from his home. "I always told her not to answer the door when I'm away, so I guess she didn't let the SWAT (officer) in."

At about 3:20 p.m. three loud shots rang through the neighborhood. Police later confirmed that gas containers were shot into the armed man's residence to smoke him out.

Within 20 minutes, the man surrendered to police.

Then at 3:45 p.m., a cluster of SWAT team officers was seen running down Vance Jackson, which was blocked off, with the suspect in handcuffs. He was seated in the back of a police unit then was taken away.

The woman who was in the house with him earlier in the day sat handcuffed in another police unit, and left shortly after.

"I've lived here for 45 years -- it's so sad to see our neighborhood go through this," said Robert Crossley, 54, who lives a few houses down the street from the incident and watched the whole event unfold. "This used to be such a nice neighborhood."

During the ordeal, police blocked off an area from Panda to Bobolink and Basswood to Wayside that included parts of Storeywood, Thyer Drive, Vance Jackson and Deneice.

North East Independent School District officials held off on dismissing students who lived in the containment area in an effort to keep them out of harms way. Parents were asked to pick up the kids from their schools, which included Dellview, Colonial Hills, and West Avenue elementary schools, and Jackson Middle School and Lee High School.

"They were held at the campus until their parents were able to pick them up," said Deborah Caldwell, a spokeswoman at NEISD.

A handful of students at each school whose parents were not able to pick them up were later taken home by bus after the streets reopened, she said.

Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved

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