DETROIT (WJBK) - Dozens of police officers, the SWAT team, a bomb squad and two mobile command centers were called to a neighborhood in southwest Detroit Friday morning when a man locked himself inside the home with a gun, threatening to kill anyone who came near.
"Very early on and throughout negotiations, he did make threats to harm law enforcement by shooting them if we come near him. Fortunately, that did not happen," says Detroit Police Commander Elvin Barren.
This all went down outside a home in the five thousand block of Springwells. Authorities had the surrounding area blocked off for hours. They got the call just before 4:30 a.m. after an argument between a female tenant and her landlord went from verbal to physical.
Daniel Torres, 45, is a former Marine with a history of mental illness, according to police. They say he had been partying with some of his tenants when the situation took an aggressive turn.
"At some point, an altercation developed. It's unknown what exactly sparked that altercation. She reports that she was assaulted by him physical and that he produced a handgun and a hammer," Barren says.
As many as 10 people lived in the apartment building, and at least four of them are children. All of them were able to get out safely. Police also evacuated nearby homes as a precaution.
"With a scene like this, with schools in session, we just need to make sure no one enters into the perimeter that could possibly be harmed by gunfire," Barren says.
Police did negotiate with Torres via phone throughout the morning. He had locked himself in the basement with a gun and his dogs, and was not budging and repeatedly threatening violence. Their conversations briefly stopped, though, when it appeares Torres passed out from the prescription drugs and alcohol he had taken earlier.
Police say when he woke back up, negotiators tried to talk to him again but they could not get him to give up. Eventually, authorities deployed a chemical agent in the home that finally forced Torres to surrender, ending the ordeal nearly five hours after it began.
"Time is always on our side. So, any time we can have a peaceful resolution by way of negotiating, you know, waiting out a suspect? That's the way to go," Barren says.
We are told police did have to put down one of Torres's dogs this morning that was acting aggressively towards them.
As for Torres, he was taken into custody. Authorities believe it was the mix of alcohol and drugs that caused him to become agitated. He'll be evaluated and taken to the detention center for processing.