A family’s home was destroyed during a deadly 16-hour standoff between Michigan police and an armed suspect who barricaded himself inside, news outlets report.
Police surrounded the home in Kalamazoo on the morning of Nov. 8, after a wanted man — 35-year-old Alex Rawls — made his way inside, according to Michigan State Police. Officers with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene.
Andrea Young, her fiance and her five children were home at the time, but quickly got out and made their way to safety, WOOD reported.
“[Police] stepped us out of the way — me and my children — and proceeded to do what they were doing,” Young told the outlet. In a few hours, their home would be gone.
At one point, Young’s landlord, Gary Apps, was called in by police to draw maps of the house, WOOD reported.
“So, I gave them my card and said, ‘Call me if I need to do anything else or know anything else.’ Then at 11 o’clock that night, I watched on TV the pictures of the side of the house having been pushed in,” Apps told the TV station. “Then the next morning, the house was down.”
A warrant had been issued for Rawls after he was accused of shooting a woman five times on Nov. 1, about one week earlier, Michigan Live reported.
Rawls opened fire on officers positioned around the home, according to Michigan State Police. None were hit, but one round struck near an officer taking cover in a shed, and two more hit the windshield of an occupied SWAT vehicle.
Two officers fired back “and it was later learned the suspect was hit an undetermined number of times,” MSP said in a statement. Officers entered the house and found Rawls dead on the second floor, and the standoff was declared over at 3 a.m., Nov. 9.
The MSP statement doesn’t mention that, during the standoff, police rammed the home with an armored vehicle, WOOD reported.
How many times they rammed the home isn’t clear, but Michigan Live reported that police “tore the house apart piece by piece … to get Rawls out of the house.”
Following the standoff, the badly damaged home was demolished within hours, according to the outlet.
“I thought they were going to do what police do, kick a door in or something, do what you got to do,” Young told WWMT. “No, that didn’t happen. They ripped my entire house down and there was nothing I could do about it or say about it. No explanation. To me I feel like they went overboard.”
Young and her children are staying in a hotel for now and are getting by with the help of others in the community, she told the outlet. She’s grateful for that.
But standing next to the rubble that was her home, questions and anger linger, Young told the outlet, and she wants answers. So far, she’s gotten none.
As of Thursday afternoon, Kalamazoo police had not commented on the destruction of the house, outlets reported.