Early morning standoff in Gulfport ends peacefully

Early morning standoff in Gulfport ends peacefully
Papania believes if the police are allowed to maintain control, a peaceful ending is always possible. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Papania believes if the police are allowed to maintain control, a peaceful ending is always possible. (Photo source: WLOX News)

After several intense hours of negotiations, a standoff in Gulfport ended peacefully Wednesday morning.

As people near 25th Street and Gulf Avenue stirred awake, they were met with a chilling scene.

"Something bad, something really bad," said Carrie Lundy, as she watched the situation unfold.

The streets were lined with police cruisers and tactical units, as dozens of officers swarmed near a home. Nearby residents grew anxious.

"God, the only thing I could think was don't kill him. Don't kill him; that was the only thing on my mind," said neighbor, Linda Bolton.

The Gulfport Police Department worked the active situation knowing someone near the home was firing shots.

"In situations like this, you are at the mercy of the individuals involved and you hope your negotiators have the ability to encourage good behavior and a surrender," said Chief Leonard Papania.

The tactical team went to work to coax the shooter over the phone to turn himself in peacefully; moments that Chief Leonard Papania says leave a good bit of uncertainty. But, Papania believes if the police are allowed to maintain control, a peaceful ending is always possible.

The shooter surrendered peacefully without the police having to fire any shots, and without anyone getting hurt.

"Every situation presents its own set of facts and circumstances, and when we are allowed to render the endings we want, this is how they end," said Papania. "It's just a good textbook execution of a S.W.A.T. tactical call."

Police do not have a motive in the incident, and say no charges have been filed.

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