By Lindsay Wise and Mike Glenn
The Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — A nearly six-hour standoff at a southwest side apartment complex Wednesday afternoon ended when SWAT officers forced their way into a unit and found an armed man dead.
Police say they think Michael Lightning shot himself in the head before SWAT arrived at the Victoria Condos after they were called there about 1 p.m., Houston Police Department Capt. Bruce Williams said.
"We wish we had a better resolution," he said.
The captain said Lightning, who failed to register as a sex offender, never communicated with hostage investigators or anyone who tried to contact him. He said police fired no shots during the incident, in which officials instituted a partial lockdown at a nearby elementary school after Lightning barricaded himself inside the apartment. Officers never heard a shot fired, Williams said, and SWAT officers forced entry in the unit at 6:45 p.m.
Police officers were following Lightning, 43, when he drove through the gates at the complex on South Gessner near Beltway 8. They signaled him to stop so they could arrest him in a June 1994 sex assault that sent him to prison for four years, police said.
Lightning was holding a pistol when he got out of the car.
Williams said Lightning briefly pointed a weapon at the officer, then turned the weapon on himself, Williams said. He then ran inside the apartment where one of his relatives lives. The relative escaped, police said.
Copyright 2007 The Houston Chronicle
Sex offender fatally shoots self during Houston stand-off