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Fayetteville standoff suspect shot by police dies

Patrick Earl Gatson (Credit: Fayetteville Police Department)

Fayetteville Police said the man involved in a near-eight-hour standoff with officers has died.

The man, who had barricaded himself inside an apartment in the 100 block of Sycamore Court was shot by an officer, police said. The suspect, 32-year-old Patrick Earl Gatson, was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Patrick Earl Gatson



Police went to Gatson's apartment around 10 a.m. in an attempt to serve a robbery warrant. Gatson refused to come outside.

Fayetteville Police Chief Anthony Kelly said Gatson was using the attic to move through the four apartments in the duplex and evade officers.

WATCH: Fayetteville Police hold evening news conference on standoff
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Police Chief Anthony Kelly gave an update on the Fayetteville officer-involved shooting with a barricaded suspect



Police sent in a robot and even used a smoke grenade in an attempt to get Gatson out. Crisis negotiator Darry Whitaker said he and his partner, Capt. Robert Ramirez tried using Gatson's mother and sister to encourage him to turn himself in peacefully.

Gatson reportedly told crisis negotiators he had a gun and would shoot the officers if they came inside. He also said the officers would have to shoot and kill him if he came outside.

After nearly eight hours, SWAT officers began searching the apartments.

A police tactical unit at the scene of the standoff.



An officer found Gatson hiding in a closet. Kelly said Gatson had a rifle with a scope and a magazine and that Gatson tried to chase the officer down the hall. That officer fired one shot but was unsure whether he struck Gatson.

Officers proceeded to break the window of the room in which Gatson was hiding. Kelly said officers repeatedly asked Gatson to drop his weapon. Officers also tried to use non-lethal rubber bullets on Gatson, who still refused to drop his rifle.

SWAT officers eventually decided to open fire on Gatson. Kelly was unsure of the suspect's condition.

Teresa C. Berrien Elementary School in Fayetteville was locked down Thursday as a precaution. The students were released early.



"I'm shaking. I'm very shaky," neighbor Greg Williams said. "Cause I can't get back in to see what's going on in my place. I don't know him. I keep to myself. I go to sleep and that's it."

During negotiations, officials contacted the Red Cross to ensure residents had a place to go after the standoff.

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