SWAT standoff ends in suicide blaze

Firemen watch as house is consumed by fire, possibly set by suspect being sought by police.
Firemen watch as house is consumed by fire, possibly set by suspect being sought by police.

CROSBY – A man that law enforcement had sought mental health help for was determined to be dead by suicide and the home reduced to ashes by flames.

At about 6:30 Friday, July 24, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office received a call from family members that a sibling was threatening them with a firearm near the 6800 block of FM 1942, near Bob & Jeans Bar.

Deputies say the man’s sister made the emergency 911 after the two of them got into an altercation, then the suspect pulled out a firearm.

When deputies arrived gunshots rang out and a call was made for SWAT units to assist.

The sister and her father were able to escape from inside the home.

SWAT units’ negotiator tried communicating with the man but did not receive a response. After obtaining a warrant, SWAT units attempted to move closer to the suspect.

Suddenly, they noticed a fire within the upper portion of the home.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez indicated a suspect had barricaded inside the home and intentionally set the home on ablaze during a standoff.

As negotiators tried to contact the suspect and get inside the home more gunshots rang out. Flames began to engulf the entire residence.

Deputies indicated they had encountered him earlier in July concerning terroristic threats and had taken him to a mental health unit and had taken firearms as a precaution.

Now arson investigators are looking into the source of the blaze and the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to identify the body left inside the home.

Only a shell of the house remains the next morning. Authorities were searching for the body of the suspect in the ashes.