By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
As Atmore News prepared to go to press on Tuesday, April 21, Atmore police and law enforcement officers from numerous other agencies responded to a report of a hostage situation on Sneed Drive.
Uniformed and plain clothes police, along with state and federal agents and Special Weapons and Tactics team members from across the area, were still formulating at noon a plan to disarm the subject without harm.
“We got a call this morning about a man, armed with a weapon and extremely agitated with his family,” said Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks from the scene. “Basically, he was in the house where he lives. The other occupants of the house got out and are protected. (The subject) is still inside the home, heavily armed.”
Police set up a command center in the fellowship hall of Brooks Memorial Baptist Church, situated at the junction of McRae Street and Sneed Drive, where attempts have been made to speak with the subject.
“We are in the process of negotiating,” Brooks said. “We’ve reached out to several law enforcement agencies, as you can see. We have SWAT team members here and some on the way to kind of help out with the situation.
“Right now, we’re trying to make contact with him by phone. We want to resolve this as peacefully as we can.”
The police chief said he contacted Escambia County Emergency Management Agency Director David Adams, who notified most of the neighbors and advised them to quietly and quickly leave their homes.
“We made contact with the EMA director about making phone calls to all the neighbors,” he said. “Most of the neighbors, we’ve gotten out of their houses and they are secure. Right now, just trying to resolve this matter as peacefully as we can.”