MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – After responding to a Miami-Dade home on Sunday morning, officers were suddenly facing a potentially life-threatening situation.
Initial police reports were that a fire broke out inside a home at Southwest 305th Terrace near 160th Ave., but when officers arrived, they found a man barricaded inside.
Police said he then fled into a neighbor’s yard, where he put the knife to his neck and threatened to kill himself.
“The officers quickly realized that the male was armed with a knife, and was holding that knife to his neck,” said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Carlos Rosario.
The incident led to a standoff between the 36-year-old man and SWAT officers.
“The officers were able to speak to him, keep him calm,” said Rosario. “They also summoned our hostage negotiation team and our special response team.”
According to police, it all started around 9:15 a.m. Sunday, when it was reported that two people were trapped inside a Southwest Miami-Dade home. When they arrived, officers found thick smoke billowing from the structure. Investigators believe the man set fire to his 72-year-old mother’s home.
“The officers immediately attempted to gain access into the residence, and a neighbor was able to provide a tool, which the officers used to pry the front door open,” Rosario said.
That’s when police came face to face with the suspect, who they said was armed with a knife and threatening to take his own life.
The other person inside the home, according to police, was the man’s mother. She was able to escape the home while Miami-Dade firefighters put out the flames.
At some point, negotiators were able to coax the man out of the home before eventually taking him into custody. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The woman identified as his mother was also taken to Homestead Hospital, where she is in stable condition.
The man’s identity and pending charges have not been released.
Arson investigators are working with firefighters to determine if the blaze was intentionally set.
“Our arson unit for the Miami-Dade Police Department is collaborating with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, as they do with our arson investigations, and they’re looking at the case, and charges are pending at this time,” Rosario said.