Police Director Responds To Neighbors’ Concerns Over Barricade Situation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Memphis) People in an East Memphis neighborhood say police put their lives in danger by leaving a barricade situation without making an arrest.

The man inside the home was found dead Thursday morning after apparently killing himself.

The terrifying scene unfolded before one neighbor’s eyes.

“He was outside, busting her windshield with a bat or a pipe,” the neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said.

He said his neighbor was fighting with his girlfriend when shots were fired.

"I told her to run and I got her over here to my house and called the police."

With weapons drawn, police surrounded the home on Jamaica Avenue for nearly four hours, but the SWAT team was never called.

Around 1 a.m., police put down their weapons and left.

They told us the man had been drinking and they were going to let him sleep it off. They planned on coming back in the morning with a warrant.

“I feel like they put everybody in jeopardy because if he hadn't killed himself what if he had woken up in the middle of the night and come outside with a gun and started shooting it again,” the neighbor said.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong addressed the neighbors’ concerns.

“There were no serious injuries at that time, and we didn't feel like anyone was in danger at this time,” Armstrong said.

That's why his commander never called in SWAT.

“They were misdemeanor charges, assault and vandalism charges, so we didn't feel it was necessary at that time to force entry into that residence,” he said.

The man took his own life overnight, something neighbors believe could have been avoided.

“Hindsight is 20/20 obviously when you step back from after all the dust has settled from these you can look back and say well certainly we should have done this differently,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said that no situation is the same and officers have to use the information they have at the time.