CARRBORO — An armed standoff that closed down an apartment complex for more than three hours Friday afternoon ended without gunfire when a man surrendered himself to police negotiators. At around 2 PM, The Carrboro Police Department responded to the Berkshire 54 apartments off NC Highway 54 after a 911 call that warned of a possibly armed “suicidal subject” in one of the units. Before police arrived, the subject had barricaded himself in. Interagency response to the situation inside involved members of Chapel Hill Police and Orange County Sheriff’s departments. Carrboro police managed the response, some officers being equipped with SWAT weaponry and defensive equipment. Snipers were positioned beneath bushes approximately 200 yards from Building T, where the subject sat with blinds closed and made sporadic contact with police and friends. The man told friends and Sundial personnel that he was neither suicidal nor ready to commit violence, and not holding the firearm, adding that police did not have a warrant to enter the apartment and that he wished to be left alone. A young woman who had resided in the Building T apartment with the man and been in a romantic relationship with him waited anxiously with officers outside the pool clubhouse, the temporary command post. She had left the apartment of her own volition before the police arrived. The woman told Sundial personnel that the man had been using a gun to play games similar to Russian roulette late the night before. She had not called the police, but had contacted a friend about the man’s potentially suicidal behavior, who in turn alerted authorities. According to Carrboro police, the call prompting their response came from Franklin Street’s Chapel Hill Florist.
The man was, according to the woman, in possession of a weapon. Based on descriptions, the weapon may have been Taurus 513 Raging Judge pistol, a 45/410-magnum, 6.5-inch barrel-length sidearm with six-bullet capacity. After arrival, police set up a base of operations in the Berkshire 54 clubhouse, using the exercise room and an area near the complex’s swimming pool as a command center. “Our concern is, he holds all the cards right now,” said an officer to the subject’s friend as the situation languished in 95-degree heat, after officers had changed shifts. Around that time, Orange County EMS workers arrived with an ambulance. The man was still inside the apartment, and officers had set up in protective positions around the parking lot with guns trained upon the man’s apartment. Law enforcement members exhibited patience and discretion as they extracted the man safely from the apartment, responding to the messages he was sending from the apartment and eventually reaching an agreement. The man agreed to meet with officers at around 6 PM, voluntarily placing himself into custody. He was cuffed by 6:15 PM and walked out of the building accompanied by negotiators, his attorney, and members of a tactical team who carried SWAT weaponry and equipment. Access to and from Berkshire 54 apartments was restored to the complex’s residents shortly thereafter. The young woman and the man were permitted to speak together through the rear passenger side window of a patrol car for a few moments before he was taken to UNC Hospital for evaluation. A replica sidearm similar to a Taurus Raging Judge was found broken down inside the apartment after the stand-down. Details on what police took into evidence, including whether that evidence included an operational pistol, are unknown. The man had not been arrested or charged with a crime as of Friday. It is not known whether a warrant or criminal charges are pending for the man, who was at UNC Hospital on Friday night.