A Fort Smith man is in police custody and facing charges after investigators say he barricaded himself inside his home early Tuesday (Dec. 3).
Miguel Angel Gonzales, 28, was arrested after he fired a gun several times in his yard Monday night (Dec. 2) and Tuesday morning (Dec. 3), police said. He is being held at the Sebastian County Detention Center without bond. Authorities said Gonzales faces a charge of discharging a firearm in the city limits. Officers are also working to have an involuntary medical evaluation done on him.
Authorities said they were first called around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday when concerned neighbors heard a gun going off. According to police, the gun had been fired Monday night as well, but no one called to report it to police until Tuesday morning.
“One of the neighbors up the street heard gunshots,” said Fort Smith Police Cpl. Steven Dooly. “She heard two shots and called the police department. While she was on the phone with us, she heard a third gunshot. I believe after officers arrived, they heard additional shots inside the house.”
Fort Smith Police and the SWAT team were in a standoff for hours, working through police negotiators to get Gonzales out of the house peacefully.
After several hours of negotiations, the SWAT team used tear gas around 7 a.m. to force Gonzales outside of his home, according to Dooly. The suspect was inside the home for about two minutes before coming out of his front door and surrendering, Dooly said.
Gonzales was then arrested, police said.
“After he was taken into custody, the SWAT team did make entry to the house and went room to room to make sure that no one else was in there, nobody hurt or injured, and luckily there wasn’t anybody injured,” Dooly said. “The guy was in there by himself, and for whatever reason decided to fire off some shots this morning and that’s why we ended up out here.”
The house is at 1421 N. 39th St. Police blocked off 39th Street between L and N streets until the scene was secured around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Authorities said the scene was a particularly dangerous one because Gonzales could see the officers from the house, but officers could not see the armed suspect because of the fog and location of street lights.
Hearing the gunshots Tuesday morning frightened some neighbors who live on the street. Margaret Clymer, who lives just up the road from the suspect, said she’s lived on the street since 1988 and has never had anything like this happen.
“We’ve had a couple of break-ins but never a shooting or anything,” she said.
Clymer said she heard the gunshots early Tuesday morning and immediately took cover inside her home.