VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A person died by gunfire after barricading themselves inside a home in Virginia Beach Monday night, police said.
The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) said officers responded to the 1900 block of Decathlon Drive around 9:30 p.m. after someone reported a barricade situation.
The person had barricaded himself inside a home with guns, threatening harm to themselves and others, according to police.
The department said its preliminary information shows that when officers arrived, they were able to talk to the person, who was "visibly armed with a shotgun that he would place under his chin."
Charles James lives in the neighborhood and said he heard his neighbor arguing with police Monday night.
“I could hear them arguing, yelling back and forth asking him to stop pointing the gun at himself,” said James.
Several hours later, the officers used "less-lethal munitions," but they didn't work as intended, according to police. Soon after, the person shot at the officers, who returned fire.
“I was thinking, 'Boy, do I need to barricade myself in the house? What’s going on?'” Robert Santiago, who lives in the area said.
The sound of gunfire kept him and his wife up early Tuesday morning.
“It just sounded like a shootout," Santiago said. "Boom, boom, boom. A couple rounds, boom boom. We waited, we waited and then I guess about another 10 minutes, we heard one more boom.”
When the SWAT team showed up, the person was found dead inside the front door of the home. VBPD stated it's unknown if they died from police gunfire or if it was self-inflicted.
James said he couldn’t believe this situation happened to a neighbor he’s known for years.
“When I was a teenager, I thought he was a great guy,” he said.
Santiago said a lot of children live in the neighborhood and he’s concerned they’ll witness another crime scene in the area.
“This right here where we’re standing is a bus stop and there’s a lot of young kids in this neighborhood come here," he said. "I’m thinking of the safety of their children and the people here. I hope we don’t have this again.”
Police are continuing to investigate the situation Tuesday morning, adding that a formal update will come once they "have more definitive information."
If you have any information that may help the police, call the Virginia Beach Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You can also leave an anonymous tip online through P3 Tips.