Gunman on roof in custody after police standoff

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A man who held police at bay for a few hours Tuesday on Detroit’s west side was taken into custody peacefully, authorities say.

The 30-year-old man was wanted for a parole violation related to a carjacking conviction several years ago. He was to be taken taken to a detention center, where he will be evaluated for mental health issues, said Cmdr. Elvin Barren of the Detroit Police Department.

The incident started around 2:45 p.m. in the 4900 block of Cabot when police went to arrest the man for the parole violation.

When police approached him, he ran into a vacant house, Barren said. Witnesses told police the man is armed with a flare gun converted to a .22 caliber gun.

The man, who police say was sitting shirtless on the roof of the house, threatened to shoot police and harm himself. Police did not see a weapon during the stand off, Barren said. Police searched the house shortly after the man surrendered.

Barren said the sun and heat may have contributed to the man coming down from the roof.

The man’s mother, sister and girlfriend were at the scene and indicated the man has had suicidal thoughts in the past, Barren said.

Police said the man is squatting in the house in Cabot. However, his mother said he has a deed to the house and was fixing it up.

The man’s mother, Rachel Gibson of Ecorse, said her son is a hard worker who failed to report to his parole officer.

“He had two more reports and he would have been done,” she said.

“I’m worried,” Gibson said prior to her son’s surrender. “I’m crazed. He’s not thinking right.”

Police have done limited evacuations of the area.

No injuries were reported.

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