|Kennedy Lane standoff|
A standoff in the 2300 block of Kennedy Lane continues. The standoff locked down schools in the area earlier today.
A lockdown has been lifted for McGraw Elementary and Gila Vista Jr. High Schools, though a standoff in the 2400 block of Kennedy Lane continues. Access to both schools only through Arizona Ave. at this time. More to come
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Police standoff with suicidal Yuma man ends peacefully
Yuma police negotiators were able to talk a suicidal man armed with a weapon who had barricaded himself inside his home into surrendering Tuesday afternoon after a 3½-hour standoff.
The standoff began around 2:39 p.m. when officers were called to a home in the 2300 block of Carol Avenue for a possibly suicidal man, according to Officer Joe Franklin, of the Yuma Police Department.
Franklin said when officers arrived, they were told by family members that the man, now identified as 57-year-old Spencer Ross, had barricaded himself in a closet and that he could be armed. Officers attempted to make contact with Ross, but he refused to comply with any of their verbal commands.
The Special Enforcement (SET) and Hostage Negotiations Teams were also called to the scene. As a precaution, several surrounding homes were evacuated and Gila Vista Junior High, McGraw Elementary School and Desert View Academy were all locked down.
Desert View was in the process of releasing its students for the day when the lockdown was issued.
"(The teachers) had to rush us in because we were already outside," said Ashley Muntinga, a third-grader at the school. "We had to lock the doors, close the curtains, sit down, be quiet and turn off the lights."
The lockdown was in effect for approximately one hour, ending at around 3:46 p.m.
At about 6 p.m., Ross surrendered to police and was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he will undergo an evaluation.
"(Ross) didn’t want to talk to anyone, so we pretty much had to keep negotiating with him and waiting it out," Franklin said. "Eventually it resolved peacefully."
Franklin said there is a possibility that Ross would be booked for a weapon violation-related offense upon his release from YRMC.
The area immediately surrounding the residence was secured, and traffic was detoured for over three hours. No injuries were reported to police.
The YPD encourages anyone with any information about this case to call police at 373-4700, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.