DETROIT (WWJ) – A barricaded gunman situation that began with a threat to police came to a peaceful end late Thursday morning on Detroit’s east side.
Several streets in the area were blocked off for over an hour as police negotiated with an armed man who’d locked himself in a building Kercheval and Ashland, one block west of Alter Road.
Detroit Police Commander Elvin Barren said officers arrived on the scene shortly after 8 a.m. on reports of a man seen with an assault rifle.
“At which point he challenged the officers by stating: ‘Do you want to go to war?'” Barren told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Mike Campbell.
Barren said that’s when the man went back into his apartment and shut the door.
The set of three housing units are situated above retail space, and Barren said they were able to contain the situation in that single building.
Barren said the suspect surrendered without incident.
“Our hostage negotiators were able to talk him out of the location. Our SWAT team entered the location and did recover the assault rifle,” Barren said.
The landlord, Dennis Perkins, said he doesn’t know what might have prompted the incident.
“It is surprising. I mean, I just saw him yesterday and he was fine,” said Perkins. “So, I think it’s a medication issue. He gets off medication and I think he sort of, you know, drifts from reality.”
Relatives, who confirmed that the man does take medication for a mental illness, said he’s harmless. A former girlfriend told police at the scene that she knows about the rifle and that it “doesn’t work.”
The man’s name was not immediately released.
No one was hurt.