Meridian Star

Local News

May 3, 2014

SWAT enters empty home

MERIDIAN — By Terri Ferguson Smith

    A young man thought to be holed up in his mother's house for about six hours on Friday turned out to be a no-show. However about two hours after officers discovered the house was empty, the young man was found walking down the road about two miles away.

    The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department was called to a house on Seal Drive just before 11 a.m. on Friday, according to Sheriff Billy Sollie.

    The 24-year-old man was said to be threatening to harm himself, Sollie said.

    "His mother said, at one point in time before we arrived, he placed the rifle under his chin," Sollie said.

    The man's mother went outside and called for help, telling authorities that he had hunting rifles inside.

    The county's SWAT team arrived and tried to talk with the man, who never responded. Believing he was still in the house, officers tried talking to him and threw a cell phone inside for him to use, and by early afternoon, had cut off water and electricity to the house. Finally, they went inside the house, Sollie said.

    "He was not in the house when we made entry," Sollie said. "According to the mother, when the first patrol car pulled up, she was still talking with him, with her on the outside of the house, and him on the inside of the house."

    Sollie said based on the information they had at the time, there was no reason to believe that the young man was not in the house.

    "Probably, when the first deputy arrived, he ran out of the back door into a wooded area," Sollie said.

    Asked if officers were searching the wood, Sollie said, "Seeing as how this has been six hours ago, no."

    Sollie said the young man was taken into custody around 6:30 p.m. without incident and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, disturbance of the family.

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