A man is believed to have died after he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement and set fire to his home with incendiary devices during a standoff Thursday in northwest Tarrant County, the sheriff’s office said.
Aerial video from WFAA-TV showed the mobile home engulfed and heavily damaged by the flames. The sheriff’s office said a body that was found inside after the fire was extinguished will be identified by a medical examiner.
A Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office deputy was injured, possibly struck by shrapnel, but was OK and did not have to go to the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office. No other injuries were reported.
Deputies went to the mobile home in the 500 block of Indian Creek Drive around 9:30 am Thursday to serve a felony warrant against the suspect on a charge of aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
When deputies arrived, the man opened fire on them from multiple sides of the home and they moved into defensive positions, according to the sheriff’s office. They tried to negotiate with the man and called in SWAT units.
After SWAT officers arrived and began tactical measures, the man continued shooting and refusing to come outside to surrender to law enforcement, authorities said.
An unknown number of officers returned fire at some point during the standoff, the sheriff’s office said.
During the standoff, the man appeared to drop incendiary devices on the front porch of his home and they went off, causing the fire and injuring the deputy, according to the news release.
The suspect continued to refuse to come outside as the fire spread inside his home, sheriff’s office Chief of Staff Jennifer Gabbert told a Star-Telegram reporter at the scene.
Firefighters put out the fire but the damage to the home was “extensive,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities believe the body to be that of the man who stood off with police, but will not release his identity until it is confirmed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office and next of kin have been notified, according to the news release.
Multiple residents on social media reported seeing more than 20 police cars in the neighborhood.
Witnesses told WFAA that the suspect worked as a mechanic and was in possession of several people’s vehicles at the property that he was supposed to repair and didn’t return, which they said was reported to police.
Melissa Miller, who lives in the same neighborhood, said when she and some other neighbors heard the shooting start they ran into their homes and took shelter.
“I’ve never ran for my life like that,” she said.
She counted between 20 and 30 shots, she told the Star-Telegram. She said the man who lived in the home would regularly shoot guns and rev his cars’ engines late at night.
One man who told the Star-Telegram he had been an acquaintance with the suspect for more than two years said he could not believe the man would do this. He described him as a nice guy who cared about his family.
He said he knew him to keep cars he’d worked on unless he was paid for the work and that he had a criminal record, but said that other than that he seemed like a nice person who didn’t want to cause any trouble or harm to others.
The scene remained active for the ongoing investigation and law enforcement was asking residents to avoid the area. Morris Dido Newark Road was closed off near Beach Drive during the standoff.
This story was originally published June 23, 2022 1:36 PM.