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Posted on Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

Standoff between suicidal armed man, police has ended

By Sven Gustafson

Previous story: Police and SWAT teams on scene of apparent barricade situation in Ann Arbor

A standoff between SWAT teams, crisis negotiators and a suicidal man that left a neighborhood on the city's northeast side barricaded for most of the day Sunday has ended, police and the condominium association president confirmed.

Michael Mixer, president of the Chapel Hill Condominium Association, said police have told him the standoff has ended.

"I am at the office and the situation has been resolved," Mixer said. "The information I have is that the police have taken him into custody."


A reader sent in this photo of a barricade situation Sunday morning in northeast Ann Arbor.

Photo submitted by Dennis Skupinski

Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Tom Hickey confirmed that the subject was taken into custody but had no further information. A message seeking an update was left with Derrick Jackson, spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

Several commenters who said they lived in Chapel Hill near the condo, which is on the 3300 block of Burbank Drive, reported hearing a number of loud bangs, which Mixer said were flash bang grenades.

Lauren Gerrity, who lives a few doors down from the home, said she saw police ram the man's door down, then heard three flash bang grenades shortly after. Police eventually wheeled the man out of the home strapped to a wheelchair, then transferred him to an ambulance.

"It's a little crazy over here," Gerrity said. "But they're done. Lights are gone, they're pulling everything away. They went through the front door with the SWAT vehicle, and the grenades went off."

Ann Arbor police responded to a call around 7:30 a.m. Sunday to check into the well-being of a male resident believed to be in his 40s at the home.

The man alluded to possessing a weapon, but police did not enter the basement where he was located, Jackson said.

"We'll call it a barricaded subject at this point," Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Mike Scherba said earlier.

"He made mention that he had a gun. But officers couldn't confirm that," Scherba said.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office metro SWAT and crisis negotiations teams were on the scene, Scherba said, and the AAPD had a command officer on location.

Police have released little information about the incident. Scherba told the Detroit Free Press that police were directed downstairs by the man's mother, where the man is holed up. He reportedly threatened to shoot any officer who approached him and said he wanted to end his own life.

WXYZ-TV reports that the man was visiting his mother and was upset about not being able to visit with his sons. A man who knew the family told the station he had mental health issues.

Scherba said earlier that no shots had been fired.

Photos submitted to and uploaded to Flickr by Dennis Skupinski show a sizable police and SWAT team presence, some with guns drawn.

Skupinski, who lives in Chapel Hill not far from the subject's home, said he first began wandering around taking photos of the incident around 8:30 a.m. Police later told neighbors to avoid wandering around in certain areas.

"Everybody just can't believe what's going on," Skupinski said. "Another guy was out shooting pictures, but most people are just staying indoors."

Laurie, a woman who lives across the cul de sac from the subject's home and did not want her last name used, said the neighborhood association told residents the subject may be visiting the home, not a resident.

She said police were letting residents leave only through the far end of Burbank Drive and forcing them to walk part of the way back if they return. The southern end of Burbank, at Green Road, had been closed off to traffic.

Mixer said he doesn't believe Chapel Hill suffers from much crime.

"It's never happened in the 20 years that I've been here," he said. "I don't remember an incident like this... I believe it is a safe community." will update this story as more information becomes available.

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Tue, Dec 25, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

I have an idea. Let us create a multi-billion dollar government agency that reminds people to take thier meds. That will ensure events like this will never happen again.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

It is amazing how a person's IQ jumps 20 points with the benefit of hindsight. Everyone claims the police overreacted and the poor guy did not have a gun.From reading accounts from legitimate news sources, the guy told the first two officers at he scene he had a gun and would shoot them. What are the cops suppose to do, stick around with their hands in their pockets, seeing if he was telling the truth? Besides, why is no one blaming "the victim" for all of this? He could have surrendered at anytime, but chose to take the dramatic route. He would not come out, so the cops went in to get him. End of story.


Tue, Dec 25, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

He also could have taken his medicine. His family and a friend have stated that when he's on his medication, he's fine, but when he doesn't take it...not so much. So, because he didn't feel like taking his medication for whatever reason, we had all this mess. People had shopping to do, places to go and I wouldn't be surprised if some missed flights because we were all basically under house arrest just because this guy decided to have a hissy fit.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

The Powell Doctrine. A successful strategy lost in the mists of time.


Tue, Dec 25, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

The Powell Doctrine is a wartime strategy of overwhelming force to be used against enemy nations. The Powell doctrine is completely inappropriate for civilian law enforcement operations... unless you are advocating open warfare against unarmed citizens? Or the mentally ill perhaps? Perhaps you should look up Tiananmen Square 1989 as an example of what you are advocating.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I just talked to a AAPD officer I know, and this officer confirms the man was not armed.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

And yet allows the headline to stand. Maybe they are too busy writing for the National Enquirer, The Sun or maybe even The Star.That's pretty much where their journalism is going to as far as facts go.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

OK A2 readers, "On your marks, get set, Whine!!!!"


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

I live just down the street from the address where this took. While I am glad that we live in a community where police are responsive, there is absolutely no question that the responsein this case was WAY over the top. This event was obviously turned into some kind of training exercise for the local first responders. Fine. But let's aknowledge that. Fortunately, we never have any legitimate reason to have that kind of heavy-handed police activity... A tank? Really? More tha a dozen armed swat guys in army fatigues (plus regular" officers), massive light fixtures on trailers, semi-autimatic weapns???? Really? This was in response to one depressed guy - unarmed - who didn't want to leave the house. I realize that it may be politically incorrect to question the amount of force that shows up in the wake of last week's trauma in Connecticut, but the response in this case was certainly blown out of all reasonable proportion.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

lsl, you said it better than I did. Yes, some of the emotion here is in diredt correlation to Sandy Hook. If they had half the repsonse displayed here when that young man arrived at school, he would have been stopped. The people who are in favor of this type of massive (war-like) response to one severely depressed off-his-meds guy must not have old fashioned common sense. This was overkill, obvious to anyone who observed it first hand, and yes carly, I live quite nearby. It appeared that way before the actual facts came out. DOZENS of first responders and a multitude of vehicles. The next person who threatens to kill themselves will get a sense of glory seeing the type of notoriety this behavior brings. But training exercises are a good thing for when we really need these good people acting for our protection. ss171, sorry,your spouse should have never had to leave your party.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

IsI......I thumbs downed you so I feel the need to reply.One...where did you gain your expertise on these situations ? you have some type of inside info that is not known to the rest of us ? BTW..It wasn't a tank.You can look at my links above


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

Your hind sight is 20/20. Well done on knowing this guy was unarmed and not a threat. I nominate you as the new police chief.

Haran Rashes

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

I live right near the incident. Last night after police issued the all clear, I walked by the site. An elderly couple could be seen inside crying and talking to a police officer. I can only assume that they were this guy's parents. I feel so sorry for them having had to go through this. Their son needs help and we can only hope that he will now get the treatment he needs. My prayers and thoughts go out to them. I also cannot express enough appreciation for the many Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County police officers, firefighters and Huron Valley Ambulance responders who spent hours and hours making sure that no one was physically hurt.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

A man is upset and despondent because he cannot see his sons. Hmm, that appears to be a normal and even laudable sign of a caring father . And there are no details explaining what "blockaded" means - it could be that this adult male just locked his door and refused visitors. Disturbing: that we take what's reported (by not always qualified "reporters") as truth. Too many examine no further, ask no questions. "Let the police handle it" is appropriate in many situations - maybe not in this one. What's the legal threshold for heavily armed SWAT teams forcing their way into a home (residence of any kind) and throwing pyrotechnic devices around? Normally, I support law enforcement but then I read: "Skupinski, who lives in Chapel Hill not far from the subject's home, said he first began wandering around taking photos of the incident around 8:30 a.m. Police later told neighbors to avoid wandering around in certain areas." – So citizens in a non-shooting incident are "discouraged" from recording or observing police activities?? Seriously?? Maybe this despondent man needed help - but I doubt he needed flash-bang grenades. We've been told one side of the story: waiting for the others side to be told, if it ever comes.

Haran Rashes

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Tru2Blu76 -- when we went out from our condo yesterday afternoon, a police officer with an assault weapon over his shoulder made sure we got out quickly. When we returned we had to park up the road and walk a round about way behind condos. Citizens were not discouraged from taking pictures or videos -- they were discouraged from putting themselves in harms way.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

As a resident of Chapel Hill I was grateful for the presence of the law enforcemnet agencies. I felt very safe. In light of the recent horrific event in Newtown, Ct one never knows what could have happened, no one ever knows,That Ct incident is still in my mind as I am from there. As condos we live in close proximity to one another. It may have been overkill a little, but better that than risk a loss of life or many lives I am grateful also that no one was injured, not police or the person they were trying to help. Good job, law enforcement.

Ann English

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

Basic Bob, Do you know about the two elementary schools nearest these condos? They're Thurston on Prairie Street and Logan on Traver Street.

Basic Bob

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

What could have happened if they had left a depressed unarmed man in his mother's basement? We will never know. Extrapolating that he might shoot up an elementary school is speculation of the worst kind.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

The Ann Arbor police department has a TANK? Good god. We need to cut their budget in half.


Tue, Dec 25, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

The "tank" appears to be an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC). An M-113, to be precise. It also is clearly marked as belonging to Washtenaw County, and not a2.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Purchased for $1.00 from the government on surplus.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

It appears from the links so generously provided by tdw what Washtenaw county has is a distant cousin to a tank. It has some tank like features but certainly lacks the fire power.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Mike....The ANN ARBOR police has a tank ? here's a few links I'll let you figure it out,r:63,s:0,i:351

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3 p.m.

I think it might be Washtenaw counties . And I'm not sure "tank" is the proper definition.

Linda Peck

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

I am impressed that the police team were able to get a good result from this incident without anyone being injured. It does seem like an over-the-top response, but I think it was appropriate considering all of the possible outcomes this could have produced.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

Wow. Massive overkill on the part of the police. SWAT teams, guys in body armor carrying assault rifles, flashbang grenades, and door breaching..reminds me of when I was in Iraq. We used to use such tactics against houses full of armed insurgents who refused to surrender. Ann Arbor PD did all this for one guy who only threatened to hurt himself, who may not even have had a gun? Let him do it and save us all the money and time that was wasted here. 2 officers who knew what the hell they were doing would haver been enough to keep a lid on this situation. Boo to everyone involved.


Tue, Dec 25, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

I would have to agree with Ryan the response seem to a bit excessive. I think they had all this equipment that they don't get a chance to use much ( thank God ) and sort of used it as a training exercise as well.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

Ryan, we don't just let people "do it" because we are a compassionate society. We know that people often change their minds and their lives down the road. If these types of events happened all the time, your argument might carry some semblance of weight. However, this was a rare situation. I'm OK will my tax dollars going to towards a rare situation where law enforcement and emergency personal do everything they can to protect the individual and the community. Tru2Blue76, what is a relevant experience? I'm pretty sure a significant amount of people commenting here have either had mental illness, suicidal thoughts, are or are married to a first responder, etc. This touches on all our lives. We are a community.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Call of duty doesn't count


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

Needless to say: you got 4 "thumbs down" from other readers - too much talking good sense draws that kind of response. ;-) But then - you've had relevant experience. So rare among readers (and most reporters) here . ;-)


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

I live just two doors down from this family. My heart goes out to them. Do I know them? No. Was in inconvenienced two days before Christmas with my shopping incomplete? Yes. But if it save this man's life I'm OK with it. Was it perhaps overkill? Maybe. I for one am glad to know we have such top notch law enforcement that is there to protect us when necessary. The debate over mental illness is beyond me. The mentality that we have in our society to just "suck it up" is appalling. Sometime people just need help. Our society's lack of compassion and empathy is just so very sad. Our focus should not be on the cost of this but on how we can help others before things spiral out of control and reach this point. Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you all peace an love in the New Year.

Ann English

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

I have relatives living nearby there, but hopefully a safe distance away. Law enforcement protected BOTH the man AND the immediate neighbors from harm.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

The headline states it was a armed man.Ch 7 said he had no gun.The article states nothing about a gun.So being that is a top notch journalistic outfit and wouldn't print a headline without having their facts straight,I'm gonna assume that the man was a amputee with only one arm


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

You know don't you; they can't put anything that isn't true on the Internet. Ho-ho-ho. ;-) Bonjour.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Craig.....I don't know.Perhaps cannot read their own article/headline or be able to follow their link to CH 7's report.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

I agree the headline is speculating on something unconfirmed . According to the guidelines that speculation is worthy of deletion.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 4:57 a.m.

And we good citizens get to PAY the huge bill for 12+ hrs of huge police and SWAT presence and equipment and Sunday overtime, darn, we could use some of that $$ for holiday expenses. Hopefully the homeowners insurance will cover the damage to the front and back of the condo. And the 11 pm news said there was no gun, despite his threat that he had one. Hindsight, too bad this wasn't resolved in the first hour, but hey, the first responders got to play with the big toys and get paid for it!!


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

SS717 -- If it helps, those of us who live in Chapel Hill were very appreciative of all that law enforcement did yesterday. This is a wonderful, peaceful diverse community with lots of children. The patience all the professionals showed yesterday for 12 cold hours was remarkable. We are relieved that there was a safe outcome for all concerned. Thanks to your husband and to you and your family for the sacrifices you make for the sake of all of us.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

Babs, I happened to be married to one of the first responders who went to the scene to "play with big toys and get paid for it". What you don't know is that he was called in from spending time with our family because he has to work over the upcoming holiday was our pre-holiday get-together. What you also do t know is that he had to get his gear together so that he could protect himself and his colleagues in the event that this man decided to fire upon them. Yes, he has opted for this career, and I opted to say 'yes' when he proposed some 10+ years ago knowing that his career would require that I say, "be careful" each time he leaves to "play with his big toys". If could do me a favor...rather than mock our first responders by assuming their motive is greed, how about a simple, "thank you". Tis the season, isn't it?!?!


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Where is everyone's compassion? A huge bill is a small price to pay if it saved someone's life.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

I would be curious how much the "huge bill" actually is over and above the normal Sunday bill. Certainly some number of the responders were punched in for the day anyway. So we the people were paying for those folks to be on duty regardless. So i suppose the question is, how many additional folks were called in on their day off adding "needlessly" to the payroll for the day?


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 9:27 a.m.

So you'd rather do without these services? Ok, I'll call you next time they need SWAT. I lend you my cast iron frying pan. I hear they work WONDERS.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 6:06 a.m.

You obviously don't live next to this man and his mother, if you did you'd be singing a different tune.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:14 a.m.

And what was your solution?


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

I was hoping there was more to the story because in retrospect it looks like and sounds like over kill. It sounded like over kill from the beginning. Sorry.

Robert Granville

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Most SWAT situations are overkill... considering how many of their cases are related to marijuana drug raids.

Milton Shift

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 7:27 a.m.

It sounds like he just wanted to be left alone...

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

It's not clear whether he actually had a gun or not. So, we can set that aside. Most importantly, no one was hurt. Before we come succumb to the desire to construct elaborate theories about what is wrong with this person or with society, lets remember that this was simply an afternoon news story. How could the complexities of someone's mental health and familial situation be summed up in such a fashion? It's not really possible. I do have concern about the increased use of pharmaceuticals to control behavior in our society. However, pinning that to this story would be a jump. Just be thankful that all the police and emergency folks got to go home tonight in one piece and that the man will likely be directed to resources to help work things out.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:37 a.m.

How very, very sad. I hope this man can get some help and get his life back together. I pray he is ok.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Channel 7 reports that the man (from Guam) is visiting his mother and upset that he hasn't seen his two sons. She says he's a "different person" when not taking his 'meds'. So, dear agitator, not another 'gun-wacko' as you inflamously tried to claim, but a person needing to take medication, not doing so, and now causing a sensational media blitz. THAT's the problem in this country.

Middle America

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 4:02 a.m.

Society's problems would disappear if Brian would just spank everyone.

Susan Ursus

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Wait, are you saying that spanking prevents mental illness? Someone alert the Nobel Prize committee.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

Thats the problem, we have medication for everything these days. We are over medicated. When I grew up you act funny or get out of line you got your behind spanked but good. Meds is not the answer to everything.