Barricaded man taken into custody

Neighbors say man served in Iraq

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Dec 17 2012 03:19:18 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 17 2012 06:37:30 PM EST
SWEETWATER, Fla. -

A heavily armed man who was barricaded inside an apartment in northwest Miami-Dade County for several hours was taken into custody Monday afternoon, said police.

Miami-Dade Police's Special Response Team arrived at the Laguna Club West Condominiums, located at 245 NW 10th Avenue, near Miami Christian School, shortly after noon Monday. Police said the man was threatening to harm himself and any law enforcement officers who tried taking him to get medical help.

"I never imagined it would escalate to this point," said a neighbor.

The neighbor said her husband is friends with the man who was barricaded inside his apartment. She said the man is a 27-year-old veteran who served in Iraq and returned to South Florida four years ago.

The neighbor said a landmine left him physically disabled.

"He just didn't receive the proper attention as a veteran and he's been wanting to commit suicide and he tells my husband that he just doesn't want to live anymore," said the neighbor.

Sources told Local 10 the man was armed with an AK-47, a MP-5, and hand grenades, adding that he was ranting about the predicted end of the world on December 21st and how he thought the president was sending troops to kill former soldiers.

"It's just all around a very sad situation," said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz.

Diaz delivered water to dozens of people living nearby who were forced from their homes as hostage negotiators spoke with the man. He peacefully left his apartment about 3:15 p.m.

"A lot of things go through my mind, that's actually why I'm here, but the bottom line is that we have great people, great people in our department that know what they're doing, they're all professional, and they're trying to solve the problem in the best possible way," said Diaz.

The man's name was not immediately released.