Updated: 6:35 p.m. Thursday
NORWALK, Conn. – An armed standoff near Hillside Street and Elmwood Avenue led Norwalk police to order a lockdown of Benjamin Franklin Community Center on Thursday afternoon, scaring the parents of the many toddlers and infants inside.
The standoff ended peacefully. The rifleman, who was in a house directly in front of the Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, came out after about an hour and turned himself in, police said.
The 24-year-old man had been in the home with a woman, threatening to shoot himself with a high-caliber rifle, Chief Thomas Kulhawik said. She left the house and called police at about 2 p.m. When the man saw police arrive, he called the dispatch center and said they should stay away or he would start shooting people, police said. Then he fired the rifle in the house once to let police know he wasn't kidding, Kulhawik said.
Police used the Code Red emergency system to alert residents to stay inside their homes, Kulhawik said. Armed officers entered the NEON Child Development Program and Employment Training Center, in the old Ben Franklin school, to escort everyone away from the windows in the rear of the building, which faced the standoff area. Flax Hill Road was closed, as were other nearby streets. School buses were warned to stay away.
Officers had been in position to fire at the gunman, but Lt. Shawn Wong Won talked him out of the home, Kulhawik said. "As time went on, he became calmer, which is usually the case," Kulhawik said. "Hopefully, the gentleman will get some help."
Update 3:50 p.m.: Norwalk police have taken into custody a man they say is the one who held them at bay in an armed standoff. Police have characterized the incident as a domestic situation. There were no injuries.
NORWALK, Conn. – An armed standoff near Hillside Street and Elmwood Avenue has caused Norwalk Police to order a lockdown of Benjamin Franklin Community Center on Thursday afternoon.
Police confirmed there was a man in a home with a gun. A police officer who warned reporters away from behind a condominium complex on Taylor Avenue gestured to mimic a rifle.
At 3:30 p.m., Taylor Avenue was open, but Hillside Street remained closed.
Police evacuated children from the side of the community center facing the standoff area.
All roads leading to the area have been blocked, and police were not allowing anyone out of their cars along Flax Hill Road near Washington Street. Flax Hill Road is closed at Lowe Street.
The standoff began at about 2 p.m. No other details were immediately available.
Check back with The Daily Voice for more information as it is available.