Local News

Northampton Standoff Ends ini Death

Posted June 21, 1996

— June 22, 1996, 5:25 p.m.EDT

What began as a domestic disturbance shifted to an armed standoff that ended in tragedy Saturday.

Charles Spruill, armed with a shotgun, kept law officers at bay outside his home near Rich Square from 8 p.m. Friday until late Saturday afternoon. After shooting Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe, Sr., last night, and exchanging gunfire during the day Saturday, Spruill continued to stay in his house.

Law officers lobbed a concussion grenade into the house late Saturday afternoon, and the structure went up in flames. Spruill was found dead inside.

The police chief had been shot when he responded to an emergency call from Spruill's wife Virginia. Buffaloe was taken to a local hospital for treatment of two shotgun wounds. One pellet was removed from his head; the other remains just below Buffaloe's right eye.

After calling for help, Virginia Spruill was able to escape the house unharmed when she heard her husband reloading his shotgun. She had been hiding in a closet.

Law officers had cut off electricity and water to the house. Negotiators and family members had been on the scene, trying to convince Spruill to give himself up peacefully

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