Fox News reported that Christopher Ryan Lee Neal had been watching television with his wife and child when an intruder broke into his house and soon after, took Neal hostage. According to the news conference, Neal had, at the time, told his wife to take their son away and out of danger while the intruder had Neal at gunpoint. This incident took place at around 10 p.m.
Fuller said that Neal’s wife was able to get her child and herself out of the room and reportedly hid in a room upstairs in their home. From there she contacted the authorities.
Following the call, officers from the sheriff’s office, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, and the Michigan State Police arrived on the scene of the crime, according to Fox News. Before the officers were able to initiate a full SWAT call out, they heard a gunshot and rushed into the house in an attempt to save as many lives as they could. Fuller said that the decision to not fire back by the officers allowed the suspect to be taken into custody while he was alive, according to Fox News.
Michigan Live reported that three police officers were injured by gunfire as a result of the 40-minute standoff.
In a news conference held on Dec. 2 by Richard Fuller, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff, Fuller stated that none of the actions of the intruder took were related to Neal and his family. They had not done anything to bring about the tragedy that transpired on Dec. 1, according to Fox News. The news outlet reported that it wasn’t clear if the intruder knew the victim.
Michigan Live reported that the suspect had, during the standoff, fired many rounds at police officers, but “no officers were in position to return any fire because they were worried about other victims,” Fuller said during the news conference, praising the officers for not firing and showing restraint. Three officers were injured during the standoff, Fuller said.
The suspect was apprehended trying to flee the scene, and is currently in police custody, according to Michigan Live. Authorities did not release the identity of the suspect, but the suspect is being held at the Kalamazoo County Jail until he is charged with a crime, the news outlet reported.
According to Michigan Live, authorities were intending to charge the suspect with murder, home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to murder, felony related to firearms, as well as multiple charges of injuries to police officers.
The news outlet reported that three officers sustained non-life threatening gunshot wounds during the standoff, however, all three officers were in stable condition following the incident. Neal, who was taken hostage during the standoff, was killed during the incident, according to Fox News. Neal’s wife and child were unharmed.
According to Fox News, Fuller expressed sadness for the family who was struck with tragedy.
“This family has had a tragic loss,” Fuller said, according to the news outlet. ” Last night, I was listening to the child play in the other room as the deputies were talking to the mom, and it struck me that this young child has a new future, a new future brought upon her by a tragic event that can’t be erased. And so we’ll work with our community to help them heal.”