CLAWSON (WWJ) – Police say an all-night standoff in Oakland County ended after a man who barricaded himself inside his home was shot dead.
The situation unfolded around 9 p.m. Tuesday after police received a call about a domestic dispute at a home on Phillips Street, near Main Street and 14 Mile Road in Clawson. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a man inside the home with his wife and children.
At that time, an exchange of gunfire rang out after the man reportedly fired at police. The man then barricaded himself inside the house.
Debbie Hoffman, who lives next door to the man, told WWJ’s Zahra Huber she was watching TV with her husband when she heard screaming coming from outside.
“We looked out our front window and all these cops were surrounding the house. We were looking out the door and we realized all the policemen had guns. One cop yelled at my husband to get back in the house so we shut the door. We’re just standing there and then about five or 10 minutes later, we hear like seven gunshots. So we hit the floor and crawled to the back of the house,” she said.
Police say the man’s wife and children were able to escape through the home’s back door and run to safety. All were uninjured.
“That was the last thing I would have thought coming from that house because they have four kids. I was wondering if the kids were out of the house, you know, we didn’t know what was going on,” Hoffman said.
A standoff ensued for several hours, with officers from Troy, Madison Heights and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department called in to assist Clawson police.
“Snipers were across the street, in between the cars, I mean it was just like a movie,” Hoffman said. “The SWAT team was there, they knocked down the door and they were on the loudspeaker, asking him to come to the door and that went on for about 20 minutes but he, obviously, never showed up.”
Reporting live from the scene Wednesday morning, WWJ’s Mike Campbell said the standoff ended when the gunman was found dead. It wasn’t immediately clear if his injures were self-inflicted.
Later, police clarified that he was already dead when they entered the home.
“SWAT arrived on scene and multiple attempts were made to contact with the responsible,” the department said in a press release. “The Sheriff’s Lenco Bear and a robot were used to make entry into the residence. The responsible was found to be deceased inside the residence.”
Hoffman said the situation has taken her whole neighborhood by surprise.
“Just prior to this, there was something that came out that said Clawson was one of the 50 safest cities to live in and then all of a sudden the SWAT team is at our house. It’s just crazy,” she said. “I’ve never had to hit the floor before for gunshots so it was pretty bizarre.”
Hoffman described the victim as the “perfect neighbor” who always seemed concerned about his community.
“He was a nice man. He has one of those riding snowplows and he would go down the street and plow people’s snow. They were just nice neighbors, no problems ever. I don’t know what made him snap,” she said.
Police still haven’t said what prompted the incident, which remains under investigation.