Lengthy standoff at Mount Airy residence ends peacefully

By Terri Flagg - tflagg@civitasmedia.com


Surry County Detention Center

DOBSON — A nearly 30-hour standoff with an armed man barricaded in a Mount Airy residence was resolved with no injuries and no shots fired when Surry County deputies brought the suspect into custody Saturday night.

The suspect, who was only identified as Jeffery Kyle Wilson about a day into the situation, was arrested on several outstanding warrants after officers removed him from the home at 117 Trickle Branch Trail.

Patrol officers responding to a suspicious activity call on Friday arrived at the house before 5 p.m. to find a male subject standing in the front doorway.

Upon seeing the officers, the subject later identified as Wilson went inside and shut the door behind him.

After the homeowner confirmed that no one was supposed to be on the property, the officers knocked on the door several times before making entry.

Inside, Wilson was armed with a long gun leveled at the officers. He told them to back out, that “he had some thinking to do,” said Captain Lloyd Terry.

The officers retreated from the home and called for assistance.

Once law enforcement established a perimeter, contact was made with the subject by phone.

“He gave conflicting information about who he was and what he was doing there,” including fictitious names, said Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson.

Negotiations continued throughout the night and into Saturday afternoon, with the yet to be identified subject refusing to surrender and repeatedly threatening suicide.

With officers still unclear if anyone else was inside the house, a victim later identified as Christopher Kyle Wilson exited the residence about 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Christopher Wilson told officers he had been held at gunpoint by his father, who was then alone in the house and armed with a long gun and a handgun.

Both Wilsons had “lengthy criminal records and histories that we were all very familiar with here,” as well as outstanding warrants, Atkinson said.

“He was volatile,” Terry said, explaining that as the conversation seemed to progress Jeffery Wilson would again threaten suicide.

He never threatened any officers but warned them not to come inside.

Early Saturday evening, the negotiations started to break down, Atkinson said.

“Collectively we made a decision to go into the house and take custody of the suspect,” said the sheriff.

Wilson retreated into an attic space through a closet access hole as officers entered the home, who were forced to cut holes in the wall to get in.

Through the use of “surveillance devices,” officers located Wilson, who was still armed and still refusing to surrender.

“Eventually the suspect was tazed and officers had to physically wrestle the weapon away,” which turned out to be a .17 caliber pellet rifle, said Atkinson.

Wilson was arrested on outstanding warrants for felony charges of obtaining property by false pretense, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting a public officer.

He was held under a $600,000 secured bond in the Surry County Detention Center and scheduled to appear in court on April 5 for those charges.

Investigation of the weekend incident continues.

Christopher Wilson was charged on an outstanding warrant for hit-and-run. He was interviewed by officers seeking to fully understand his role in the standoff.

A search warrant executed at the scene Sunday revealed drug paraphernalia and signs of methamphetamine use in the home, Atkinson said.

“All indications showed they had been there quite a while,” said Detective Dee Sims.

Harry Thompson Jr., executor of his father’s estate which owns the property, was “very familiar (with the suspect) through a past relationship,” Sims said.

Assessing the response

“It was very lengthy for a negotiation,” Terry said of the process which kept about 13 to 15 officers on the scene for nearly 30 hours.

“Time is always on the side of law enforcement,” he said. “Time in waiting them out is a better outcome than the alternative.”

While some officers were rotated to keep the team fresh, “Some of our guys were out there for 27 hours,” Atkinson said. “It’s a lot of emotion, a lot of stress.”

Atkinson complimented his team for effectively handing a fluid — and potentially deadly — situation fraught with many unknown factors.

“Everyone performed their roles to outstanding levels. I could not be more proud,” Atkinson said. “To determine what is a reasonable response, you have to evaluate that in every case. Our goal was to negotiate a peaceful surrender. Our officers showed an extraordinary amount of restraint to resolve the incident without anybody being hurt on either side.”

The sheriff thanked the Mount Airy Police Department, Four Way Fire Department and Surry County Emergency Medical Services for assisting.

He also thanked the residents of the Flat Rock Community for their support.

Residents of three homes were asked to evacuate Friday night at the officers’ request and were told it was safe for them to return on Saturday night.

“In those situations we cannot compel people to leave,” Atkinson said. “That cooperation is essential to doing our job safely.”

https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Wilson_Mug.jpgWilson Surry County Detention Center

By Terri Flagg


Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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