Man Barricades Himself In Tyler Building - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/3/05-Tyler

Man Barricades Himself In Tyler Building

A major scare in a Tyler neighborhood, after a business is evacuated, and the SWAT team is called in. Officials say it was all caused by a man with a fake gun.

The stand-off began around 5:30 tonight at the Hibbs Financial Center on Old Bullard Road and Shelley Dr. in South Tyler. The man barricaded himself inside the stairwell of the Tyler building. Officials say 45 police officers, negotiators, and SWAT team members responded to the scene.

The standoff, which lasted a little more than an hour, came to a close at around 6:45 this evening. Officers escorted 20-year-old Justin Coleman into a waiting police vehicle after he gave himself up to authorities. Officials say Coleman barricaded himself inside the second floor stairwell of the building.

"I saw someone run past me into the stairwell," said Phyllis Davis, an eyewitness who was in the parking lot at the time. "I didn't think anything of it at first. And then I saw the cops when I turned back around and saw the cops coming from the bushes with their guns."

Officials and witnesses believed Coleman was armed and dangerous. "They told us there was an armed man at the stairwell over on one side of the building," said Betty Hall, the receptionist at Hibbs Hallmark & Company.

Officers later determined, the weapon was a toy revolver. The whole incident began with a phone call from the Super Sak on Troup Highway at around 3:50. "We received a call from the convenience store from who we believe was him, stating that he wanted to kill himself," said officer Don Martin, with the Tyler Police Department.

At 4:22, a woman called police from a south Tyler location. She told officers she was concerned about Coleman. She gave officers a description. Officers spotted a man fitting his description on South Broadway and tried to approach him. That's when, they say, Coleman took off, on foot, into the nearby building.

"Once you get inside the stairwells of the building, you have to have an access card to get inside the floor, so the man was basically trapped within the stair well," said Martin.

Officials say Coleman has had a few brushes with the law, but would not go into details. After his arrest, Coleman was taken to a local hospital to undergo a mental evaluation. Officials say no criminal charges are expected to be filed against Coleman at this time.

Oralia Ortega reporting, ortega@kltv.com

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