Man In Custody After Standoff At Dick's Sporting Goods In Connecticut

A man who allegedly fired shots in a Connecticut shopping plaza is now in custody after a standoff with local police and SWAT teams. Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania said a SWAT team contained the armed man near the loading dock behind Dick's Sporting Goods at the Connecticut Commons Shopping Center before they eventually apprehended him by using beanbag rounds to disable him..

According to the New Britain Herald, customers at stores in the shopping center began a mandatory evacuation about 2:30 p.m., and another report states the Plainville police first got reports of gunfire at 3 p.m.

Police Sgt. Mark Connoy said the reported call came from a man who sounded Hispanic, saying shots were being fired into Lowe's. Police said they checked and couldn't find any bullet strikes at the giant hardware retailer.

Connoy said the first responders identified a man who looked to be between 25- to 35-years-old and matched the suspect's description, and that he was toting a semi-automatic handgun. Connoy said the man seemed to ignore all police demands.

Police had the man contained by 3:30 p.m., according to the Hartford Courant, and the New Britain Herald reported he was in custody.

Catania said negotiators tried making contact with the man in English, Spanish and Polish but initially had no luck.

"We just don't know what his issue is," Catania said. "He's not communicating with us."

Store visitors and employees were escorted away, and access into the shopping center had been restricted.

Police Sgt. Mark Connoy said the public is not in danger.

Dick's is next to PetSmart in the shopping center, which also is home to an AMC Movie theater, Old Navy, Lowe's, Home Improvement and DSW.

Other police units reported on the scene were from Southington, West Hartford, Bristol and New Britain, along with the SWAT teams.

SWAT teams and standoffs aren't unusual, especially during the holiday season. On Christmas night in Pennsylvania, a man barricaded himself inside his house and fired at police 11 times. He was finally lured from the house nine hours later and surrendered when a SWAT negotiator sang a Christmas song, per the gunman's request.