POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — It was a terrifying day in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Wednesday, when witnesses said a man with a gun being pursued by police ended up shooting himself on the roof of a building.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the standoff put the small Jersey Shore town and two schools on lockdown.
It all started in the morning, when police attempted to question 32-year-old Middletown resident Robert F. Terry III about a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend that had occurred Tuesday night in nearby Brick Township.
Terry, who was running out of a taxi at the time, tried to flee the officers. As police pursued him, officers were seen with their guns drawn in a hardware store, and a SWAT team taking over the streets.
“I saw the swat team in full gear with shot guns and there were a lot of police,” a witness said.
“I seen him running across the roof, and he ends up on that blue building,” said Anthony Powalie of Point Pleasant Beach.
Once he found his way to the roof, Terry shot himself in the head, police said. He survived, and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Photos taken seconds later showed the suspect being placed into an ambulance. Even after that, the schools remained locked down with students doing what they have been taught to do.
“We all turned out the lights in our classroom, and we all had to sit in the corner,” said student Erica Morieko. “At first we, thought it was a drill. Then it got scary — we all started tweeting.”
Witnesses said the standoff lasted several hours. The owner of a local deli took no chances, immediately closing and telling employees to take cover.
“It was really scary. I was really worried,” said restaurateur Joe Leone Introna. “Things were going through my mind. I have kids who go to school a block away.”
Twenty-seven employees of the restaurant ran upstairs and huddled up away from the windows.
“We were told by police not go outside lock the doors, and not let anyone in,” said employee Arleen Chiafullo.
After bringing down evidence from the roof, police cleared out. Parents said authorities did everything they were supposed to.
“The school called so quickly that there was nothing to worry about,” said parent Michele Vanwoerkom. “At that moment, I knew where she was and what she was doing.”
Even after the lockdown was lifted, police kept a heavy presence at the school just as a precaution.
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