84 YR OLD WWII VETERAN HELD OFF SWAT TEAM ALL NIGHT
After he allegedly fired a gunshot during an argument with his wife, a 84-year-old World War II-era veteran held SWAT officers at bay at the couple’s home in southwest Houston for nearly six hours early this morning before he was arrested peacefully.
The standoff began around 1:30 a.m. after the homeowner, who identified himself as Gerald Lancaster, fired a shot as his wife was leaving the home in the 10100 block of Amblewood, authorities said.
After he was arrested around 7 a.m., police said he is charged with aggravated assault.
Patrol officers arrived at the home after the shot was fired and later the Houston Police Department SWAT unit was dispatched because Lancaster did not come outside.
SWAT officers arrested Lancaster after they broke through a door at the home and saw him inside without any weapons in his hands. He didn’t resist, police said.
No injuries were reported.
Lancaster, in an interview from the backseat of a police cruiser after his arrest, said he had been drinking alcohol during the day and that he and his wife had argued. He said his wife had not be drinking.
Police said Lancaster had several rifles and handguns in the house.
He told reporters that he owns enough guns to "take down the whole (expletive) army if I wanted to," but he had not planned on using them.
After failing to coax Lancaster out with phone calls and pleas over a loudspeaker, SWAT officers fired tear gas into the home at about 5:30 a.m. But they said the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Marine veteran still refused to come outside.
"It’s kind of unusual," said Lt. A.J. Mihalco, of the Houston Police Department. "He withstood the tear gas. It seemed like it didn’t even faze him. He’s a pretty tough gentleman."
Lancaster said he had been asleep during much of the standoff. He was surprised when he realized police officers had converged on his home.
Lancaster said he is a retired energy industry engineer and was a sergeant during his stint in the Corps.
When asked how long he’s been married, Lancaster told reporters: ``Too damn long.’’