A Georgia State Patrol SWAT team used an armored vehicle to bust down the door of a home on Richards Street and several rounds of tear gas forced an armed man to surrender to law officers after a four-hour standoff Wednesday morning.
David Arnando Keefe, 23, came out of his apartment at 1004 Richards St.-2 in his underwear and with his hands raised after five volleys of tear gas were fired into the home. Keefe was charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and cruelty to children. Other charges are possible, according to police.
“It was the best possible outcome, and I am very proud of the professionalism of all the law agencies involved in this situation,” Dalton Police Department Chief Cliff Cason said. “His family didn’t lose a brother or lose a son, and we didn’t have to use any more force than was necessary to resolve the situation. It was the best possible outcome for everyone involved and I was very pleased with how this was handled. Hopefully he can get whatever help he needs.”
The standoff began shortly before 8 a.m. near 5th Avenue in east Dalton when police responded to a domestic call and a report of a shot fired. According to police, Keefe and his girlfriend fought, and then it became physical. Keefe fired a shot, and police spokesman Bruce Frazier said it wasn't clear if Keefe shot at her or shot merely to scare her, but the gunshot was close to the woman.
Children were in the home, but the woman left with the children and went to a neighbor’s home to call police. Frazier said the girlfriend was bruised from the fight, but she had no serious injuries.
When police arrived, Keefe came out of the apartment briefly with a gun, Frazier said. Police set up a perimeter, closing off several roads and stringing up tape to keep the crowd of onlookers at a distance.
Frazier said Keefe destroyed his cellphone during the initial argument and police could not communicate with him by phone. During the standoff, police used a bullhorn to try to coax Keefe from the home. Frazier said one of the officers with the GSP SWAT team was a negotiator, but the lack of direct communication prevented any negotiating.
Around noon, members of the SWAT team loaded into the armored vehicle with a ram attached to the front and pulled in front of the home. Team members fired several volleys of tear gas through the windows while officers on the bullhorn continued to tell Keefe to “come out unarmed and you will not be harmed.”
After several minutes with Keefe remaining in the home, the ram was used to bust down the front door. Eventually, Keefe emerged with his hands up and came down the stairs before laying on the ground on his stomach, surrendering to the SWAT team.
Emergency medical personnel checked Keefe out after he was handcuffed. Police then took him away.
Members of Keefe’s family were present after he was arrested. They declined to comment.
The investigation was continuing Wednesday afternoon.