Man dies after long standoff in Southwest Decatur

·2 min read

Dec. 3—A daylong standoff in Southwest Decatur involving a man and Decatur SWAT members ended in the man's dead and fire damage to the house following a domestic dispute Friday, according to Decatur police.

Police spokeswoman Irene Cardenas-Martinez said the standoff was in the 3700 block of Neches Court in the gated Vestavia Court subdivision off Vestavia Drive, across the street from Decatur Heritage Christian Academy.

In a news release, Martinez said the homeowner stated that her former husband broke into the home and held her against her will before she was able to escape. Police received the call about 8:15 a.m. Friday.

The man barricaded himself inside the home, and after hours of negotiations with Decatur police, he refused to comply, Martinez said.

"It was later discovered a fire had been set in the home, and the suspect was found inside deceased," she said.

Police did not give a cause of death.

Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Neighbors said they saw SWAT members use tear gas in attempt to get the man flee the house.

Carlton Moore, a neighbor, said he heard two "big booms" coming from the residence in question about 1 p.m. Authorities at the scene were seen breaking windows in the front and back of the house.

"It's a bad situation," said Moore, who has lived in the neighborhood a dozen years. "It's quiet here. We've never had anything like this."

Another neighbor, Wayne Hoffman, said he saw SWAT members with weapons drawn go into the house to try to apprehend the man. About 2:15 p.m., SWAT members were leaving the scene, and Decatur Fire & Rescue was extinguishing the blaze.

Others responding to the scene were criminal investigation and crisis negotiation teams with Decatur police and Decatur Morgan Hospital ambulance.

A woman answering the phone at DHCA said the school had no comment when asked about a lockdown at the school.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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