A man barricaded himself inside a Groves home in the 6200 block of Jackson Street near Lion’s Park Wednesday after what neighbors said was a dispute between him and an ex-girlfriend.
After a standoff lasting more than five hours, the man died. At press time, Lt. Kirk Rice did not know how the suspect died.
According to witnesses, three shots were fired close to the intersection of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue near the Splash Park and Groves pool around noon. The house is directly across the street from where the Groves Pecan Festival is held each year.
The pool and park area was immediately evacuated and all children were picked up.
Karen Theis, owner of the Courtyard Cafe on Lincoln, lives about a block away from the house on Jackson. Her mother saw the first police car drive up, but they didn’t hear the gunshots.
Theis was told that a man ran out of the house and “grabbed a girl,” before pulling her back in the house and tying her up.
Another neighbor saw this and called the police, who showed up quickly, Theis said.
The woman managed to escape through a broken window in the bathroom and ran to the house of the neighbor who called 911.
Onlookers crowded the narrow street while police and a negotiator attempted to coax the man, who many people knew by name or reputation, out of the house.
Theis said that the man and the hostage were involved in a “messy breakup” recently and that the man may be suffering from an unknown health condition.
Lt. Kirk Rice with Groves Police Department confirmed that the suspect who barricaded himself in the Jackson St. home is now dead. Details on his death are currently unknown, as he waits on reports from officers on scene.
The Port Arthur S.W.A.T. and the Groves Police are at a location in the 6200 block of Jackson Street near Lion’s Park, which is the site of the spray park. The park and the spray park have been evacuated.
Officers were called to the scene shortly before noon. No official sources were able to comment about the ongoing situation. A neighbor said the incident began with a hostage situation in which a man grabbed his girlfriend off the street and tied her up. She has since escaped and is safe at another house in the neighborhood, the neighbor said.
Police are using a loudspeaker to communicate with whoever is in the house.
A News team is on the scene and will update with additional information as it becomes available.