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Friday, July 25, 2008

[MI] Domestic hostage-standoff ends in fired Officer Barber's suicide

...POLICE SAY THE SITUATION BEGAN AS A DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE, AND BARBER WAS APPARENTLY HOLDING HIS GIRLFRIEND AND HER TWO SONS HOSTAGE INSIDE THE APARTMENT...

BARRICADED GUNMAN IN MUNDY TOWNSHIP APARTMENT BUILDING; HOSTAGE FREED
The Flint Journal - MLive.com, MI
by Shannon Murphy | The Flint Journal
Thursday July 24, 2008, 4:47 PM
[Excerpts] Police in Mundy Township are trying to negotiate with a barricaded gunman in Maple Park Terrace apartment complex off Maple Road. Police receieved a 911 call from someone who said they had earlier been held hostage by the man... The building has been evacuated and entrance and exits have been blocked. [Full article here]

FIRED COP CENTER OF MUNDY TOWNSHIP STANDOFF
Police Chief Releases Statement Concerning Former Officer
WNEM
July 24, 2008
UPDATED: 7:09 pm EDT July 25, 2008
[Excerpts] A standoff between an armed man and police in Mundy Township ended Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. Police identified the gunman as 39-year-old Antonio Barber. Barber, a former Flint police officer, was fired a few years ago for allegedly stealing a football video game seized in a drug raid... Officers responded to the apartments after reports that a man had been holding people hostage... After nearly nine-hours of police negotiation, officers found Barber dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound... [Full article here]

STANDOFF ENDS, FORMER POLICE OFFICER FOUND DEAD
Police say investigation is ongoing
ABC12 News
July 25, 2008
...Terry Barber has identified the man as his son, former Flint Police Officer Antonio Barber, 39. "They did let me go over there and try to talk him out, but I felt it was too late then. He wouldn't, he wouldn't pick up the phone, but I did talk to him earlier, and he did call me several times on my cell phone, but I didn't have my phone. The officer had my phone," Barber said. "The team went inside, checked, and found the suspect deceased. There were no shots fired by any of the officers on the scene," said Mundy Township Police Chief James Petres. Police say the situation began as a domestic disturbance, and Barber was apparently holding his girlfriend and her two sons hostage inside the apartment. At some point in the afternoon, the hostages were let go, unharmed... [Full article here]

FATHER OF ANTONIO BARBER BLAMES FLINT MAYOR DON WILLIAMSON FOR SON'S DEATH
The Flint Journal
by Bryn Mickle
Friday July 25, 2008
[Excerpts] [Editor's note: This is an updated version of a previous post of this article.] A former Flint police officer who lost his job over a football video game died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot during a nearly nine-hour standoff Thursday. Antonio Barber's father blamed the death on the city's refusal to give him his job back after theft charges against him were dropped two years ago. "I blame this on the mayor of Flint," said Terry Barber, shortly after learning his son was dead about 11:15 p.m. Thursday. "Don Williamson wouldn't let him come back to work." But Williamson said Barber had the chance to get his job back and refused. The city offered Barber his job and $10,000 to return, but Williamson said Barber wanted more money...The standoff at the Maple Park Terraces apartments on Maple Road near Torrey Road began about 2:30 p.m. after two teens called 911 to say they and their mother had been held hostage by Barber in the apartment for about 13 hours. The mother ran out of the apartment when police arrived, but Barber remained inside as officers surrounded the second-floor apartment. Unsure if anyone else was inside and told he had a 9 mm pistol, police evacuated the building along with three other apartment buildings... Nearby day care and summer school programs were put on lockdown... Negotiators spoke with Barber by cellphone but said he eventually stopped answering the phone... After calling in the Oakland County Sheriff's Department to send a robot into the apartment, investigators poked a camera into a closed bedroom and found Barber's body... Police said they believe the standoff was sparked by a relationship problem between Barber and his girlfriend, but they said details were sketchy... Terry Barber said he felt his son's death could have been avoided if police would have let him talk to his son sooner Thursday. Family members asked police numerous times for permission to call him or go to the apartment door, but police refused before eventually letting Terry Barber try... It was an emotional scene at the entrance of the apartment complex, where Barber's mother had to be restrained at times from running to see her son. "I want my son out of that apartment!" she shouted at one point... Family members broke into screams and sobs when word came that Barber was dead. Terry Barber said his son had two sons of his own. Funeral arrangements are pending... [Full article here]

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