Police use tear gas to end standoff

June 1, 2009 2:51:18 PM PDT
A Durham standoff ended Monday morning after residents were evacuated from their homes Sunday.The incident started around 6 p.m. Sunday at a home on north Guthrie Avenue and ended around 1 a.m. Monday.

Police arrested Donald Simmons Monday afternoon after he was released from the hospital.

According to the Durham Police Department, they used tear gas to smoke out Simmons after he barricaded himelf in the home.

He is charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications, going armed to the terror of the public, assault by strangulation and discharging a firearm within the city limits. Simmons is being held in the Durham County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

Neighbors who were forced to evacuate their homes, said they were glad to see the situation over.

"Yeah, I live here in the area," Lisa Rodriguez told Eyewitness News. "I mean, it's tough. You are like wow, you think this is a good area and then all of a sudden this happens, and it is like it gives you a wake- up call, you know, of what can happen around your area.

Police have not released a lot of details about the situation, but eyewitnesses said a man and his girlfriend were having a dispute when the man allegedly grabbed a gun and shot at her as she tried to get away.

They say she escaped and that's when the man barricaded himself in the home. As a precaution, authorities had to evacuate several surrounding blocks leaving dozens of residents outside of their homes watching the situation unfold.

"About 45 minutes after the police showed up, they knocked on my door and asked me to evacuate and I told them I was sick and had nowhere to go," evacuated resident Joe Pence said. "They said, 'well stay in the house and lock your door,' so I said 'yes sir' and they came back in about 10 minutes and said 'you have to leave.'"


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