NORWALK -- A man who threatened to shoot himself and any police officers who approached his Hillside Street home was safely taken into custody Thursday afternoon after about an hourlong standoff, police said.
The incident began with a domestic dispute between a man and his girlfriend, according to police Chief Thomas Kulhawik. During the argument, the man armed himself with a high-powered rifle and told his girlfriend he was going to shoot himself, Kulhawik said. The woman was able to get out of the house and she called police around 2 p.m.
When officers arrived on the scene, the man called the department's dispatch center and said he would shoot the officers, and to prove he was serious, said he would fire a warning shot, which he did, Kulhawik said.
The officers called for backup and took cover. The department's tactical team was brought in, along with other personnel, to set up a perimeter.
Because the gun was high-powered, Kulhawik said a wide area was locked down, including the Benjamin Franklin Community Center on Flax Hill Road, behind the man's house. The former middle school is now used as a recreation center and by Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) as a day care. The students in the building were moved into a gym area and officers stayed in the building throughout the standoff, police said.
A "Code Red" reverse 911 call was put out to the neighborhood to warn residents to stay inside.
A nearby resident on Bayview Avenue said police ordered him to take cover as he was walking to his car.
"Three armed policemen with M-16s and kevlar vests screamed at me to stop what I was doing and to run over to them and get behind them," said Gabriel Murillo. "There's cops everywhere ... The whole place is on lockdown right now."
About an hour after the standoff began, a police negotiator and one of the man's family members talked him out of the house and he was taken into custody without incident. Police did not immediately release the man's name or say what, if any, charges he will face.
No one was injured and the scene was cleared around 3:30 p.m.
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