New Jersey

Armed Standoff That Closed New Jersey Schools Ends With Suspect Dead

Man found dead after causing standoff that left thousands of students out of school.

A more than 13-hour standoff that caused officials to close 14 schools in Gloucester Township, leaving thousands of children out of class, ended Thursday morning the 24-year-old suspect dead.

Police responded to reports of shots fired from a townhouse near Hampshire and Yorkshire roads in the Brittany Woods neighborhood of Sicklerville around 8 Wednesday night and the incident turned into a barricade situation.

"It's been a rough night," mother Nicole Bea said after hearing nearly one dozen gunshots.

Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle said an armored rescue vehicle with officers inside was struck numerous times with bullets from an assault rifle. Police later showed off the armored vehicle with bullet holes in it.

Gloucester Township police took a suspect, who they say fired a bullet into this armored vehicle, into custody after a 13-hour standoff in Sicklerville.

"No shots were fired by police," Earle said.

Police continued to be in contact with the suspect over the phone Thursday morning until he stopped answering the phone prompting them to enter the home, investigators said. 

Heavy machinery and robots were used to breach the home, police said. SWAT officers could then be seen going into the home.

Police found the suspect dead. Police found a handgun and assault rifle in the home.

A woman, who was unharmed, was found in the home and taken in for questioning, Earle said.

Authorities evacuated about 18 nearby residents and told others to shelter in place over a three square-block radius. Some residents, unable to get home, rode out the situation inside their cars.

Around 9:30 a.m., police said residents could "resume normal activities."

Nearby Timber Creek Regional High School was used as a staging scene.

Gloucester Township Public Schools closed all 11 of its elementary and middle schools and the Black Horse Pike Regional School District closed its three high schools — Highland, Timber Creek and Triton regional high schools — Thursday morning.

A tense standoff in Sicklerville, New Jersey ended Thursday morning with a man in custody. Gloucester Township police say residents can resume their normal days.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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