Barricaded suspect found dead, hostage rescued


GUILFORD, CT (WFSB) – A shelter in place order in Guilford was lifted on Thursday morning following a situation where a suspect was barricaded in a home.

Police said they had been trying since Wednesday afternoon to get a man out of a home in which he barricaded himself with a family member.

However, he was found dead from a believed self-inflected gunshot wound in the home when officials went in to rescue the person in the home Thursday morning.

Guilford police held a news conference around 9 a.m. on Thursday to talk about a standoff situation in town.

His identity has not been released.

“The scene on Fitch Hill Road is now safe,” police said in an update. “Law enforcement personnel remain on scene for an ongoing investigation. The shelter in place request is now lifted.”

The female hostage was rescued, police confirmed.

Road closures that were in effect since the incident began on Wednesday were still heavily enforced earlier Thursday morning.

Channel 3′s crew was by the one at Great Hill Road.

The incident began as a 911 call around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday for a fire on Route 80.

Police said when firefighters got to the scene, a man was standing in the yard with two long guns. Firefighters were forced to back away.

The suspect fled in a vehicle to another home on Fitch Hill Road. The home belongs to a family member, police revealed.

“We had gotten a phone call from inside the house from the family member, who indicated he was there and he was armed,” said Lt. Alex Geonnone, commanding officer, Connecticut State Police Central District.

Police said the home that was reported to be on fire and the one the man barricaded himself in were both owned by his family.

SWAT and crisis negotiators were hoping to end the situation with no one hurt. They standoff lasted about 18 hours. No shots were ever fired.

“At some point, while we were on scene, members of the state police swat team heard a woman in the house yelling in distress,” Geonnone said. “At that point, members of the SWAT team decided to conduct a hostage rescue operation.”

Officers made their way inside and found the man dead on the second floor.

The woman made it safely outside.

“We believe this led to the best possible outcome,” Geonnone said.

Police said the man was a Guilford resident.

They cited interagency collaboration for helping bring the situation to an end.

“For a small town like Guilford, our regional partners and our state police partners are critical to the jobs that we do when cases like this happen because we’re a small department,” said Chief Butch Hyatt, Guilford Police Department. “And we reach out to those regional and state assets to come in with assets that we can’t have in a small department.”

Police said they had the area contained, so residents were safe.

Until later Thursday morning, they told them that they should stay inside.

The state and local fire marshal are investigating the fire on Route 80.

Fitch Hill and Hemlock roads were set to reopen, but only for residents.

Melissa Jones Elementary School nearby did shelter in place for a bit on Wednesday, but other than that, it was business as usual at the school on Thursday morning.

A standoff in Guilford has been going on for more than half a day.

What started as a fire call turned into a standoff with Guilford police.

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