A five-hour police standoff in Newport this morning is over and police say they have two suspected gunmen in custody. A lockdown in the area has been canceled.
There are no reports of any injuries.
Police say the situation began to develop at 5:30 a.m. when a man called police and said 400 cops were surrounding his home on Highland Ave. When Newport police arrived, the man was on top of his garage with a rifle. There was also a 15-year-old boy behind the house with a rifle.
Police say there were nine children and a woman inside the home.
Shortly before 7 a.m., police ordered residents on Highland Avenue between West Main and Pleasant streets to stay in their homes and lock their doors. About an hour later, residents were urged to evacuate that area as police moved into the neighborhood. Heavily armed officers from local, state and federal agencies could be seen surrounding the area.
Vermont State Police told WCAX News it was, "a very active situation. The Vermont State Police tactical team is there."
Mark Campbell was next-door to the suspects' home. He was told by police he should evacuate, but he declined to leave his home.
"They said you really should go. This dude is probably going to start shooting," Campbell said. "They want everybody to get out of Dodge."
Campbell said police called it a "hostage situation" and told him, "A negotiator is trying to talk him out of doing something foolish."
Campbell said there were officers from numerous police agencies on the scene with their rifles drawn.
"Law enforcement is fully rifled up ready to take this dude down," Campbell said. "I'm afraid someone is going to die."
Campbell said he has seen Newport City Police called to his neighbors' home several times before.
Marin Gardyne was at a home on Highland Ave. about five doors down from the suspects' home. She was not able to leave the home before the police cordon went up.
"We heard the chopper come in and I actually went outside and I could hear some shouting going on and that's when I got a phone call saying what was going on. I could definitely hear loud shouting," Gardyne told WCAX News. "Doors are locked and I guess I won't be going to work this morning."
The nine children inside the suspects' home were eventually evacuated through a window at about 10 a.m.
At about 11 a.m., police sent out an alert through social media that they had a suspect in custody, ending the danger in Newport.
Police say both the adult gunman and the teen gunman are in custody. The man was at the hospital at noontime undergoing a drug evaluation.
Police say the woman inside the house was interfering with the investigation and she was taken into protective custody.
Investigators say it's not yet clear if this was actually a hostage situation. That will depend on whether the children felt like they couldn't leave.
Friday, March 7 2014 10:55 AM EST2014-03-07 15:55:16 GMT
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