Standoff keeps families out of homes in Newington - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Standoff keeps families out of homes in Newington

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Families in Newington were slowly allowed back into their homes late Thursday morning after being kept out for hours while a man with a gun held police at bay.

The standoff at the Gloucester Village Apartment Complex on Church Street ended around 10:30 a.m.

The unidentified gunman was taken to the hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound as the standoff ended. His condition was not released.

"There is no threat to the public at this time," said Newington police Sgt. Brendan Moon. "The scene is secure, and now being treated as a crime scene."

The incident began around 1 a.m. when the man with a handgun barricaded himself in the basement common area of one of the apartment buildings, police said.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that the man involved in the standoff, who is in his 50s, had his two adult children in his apartment at one point, but they have gotten out.

"He was very sad all the time. He would play loud music," said neighbor Ali Aslam. "He was very calm in the beginning, but after a time we realized he was angry. He got very angry. He would scream from time to time."

A reverse 911 call was also placed to residents in the area advising them of the situation. It urged them to stay in their homes if possible.

"We evacuated the residents in consideration for their safety and have taken care of them," Moon said. "No one's in danger at this time."

Individuals from about a dozen apartments were evacuated and were staying on a bus. The rest of the complex was locked down. All residents with the exception of four units were told they could return home.

"I opened the door and he said 'come outside, you are safe, but come outside. I'm going to get you outside,'" said eyewitness Sonali Patel, who thought he would be evacuated for minutes and ended up being outside for hours.

Police negotiated with the gunman for hours, but said the standoff ended when he shot himself. Nobody else was injured, according to police. 

"We can't do anything for him," Aslam said.

Newington Bus Services said that its bus routes were minimally impacted. Any school buses that had to travel on Church Street went around the incident. Officials said buses ran between five and seven minutes late.

The incident remains under investigation and officers remained on scene as of noon.

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