Local News

'It could have been so much worse,' Fayetteville police chief says of standoff with armed man

Posted July 8, 2019 5:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2019 5:50 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville's top police officer opened up Monday about a tense standoff that unfolded over the weekend involving law enforcement officers and a heavily armed man who barricaded himself in his home in an upscale neighborhood.

Chief Gina Hawkins said there was nothing typical about a domestic dispute call that came in Friday night about the emergency at a home in the Greystone neighborhood.

"This wasn't just fireworks," Hawkins said. "This was a high-powered rifle (with) officers and supervisors getting behind brick walls and being attacked."

Police say they were fired on by Russell Peverley, 47, from a second-story window of his home on Kimberwicke Drive.

The home has bullet holes in the window where officers returned fire.

Police have said the suspect had at least 50 weapons in his home and a large stock pile of ammunition for all of them. He has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the standoff and attack on police.

Officials have said police were called to the home to respond to a domestic dispute. When officers arrived, Hawkins said the man fired at police.

"We know that there was some prior military, but either way there were a lot of weapons in that house," Hawkins said. "It could have been so much worse. So much worse."

Hawkins said Peverley was wearing body armor and a Kevlar helmet.

She said her officers kept their cool and captured the suspect without anyone else in the neighborhood getting hurt.

"I'm so proud of my officers," Hawkins said. "I'm so proud of my police department and how they reacted and how they're trained."

Hawkins says that, while the State Bureau of Investigation continues its probe into the shooting, she's going to look after her police officers, especially those who encountered the first shots when they arrived on scene.

"We're going to keep on giving resources to the officers that were engaged in that situation because no one can imagine being behind a brick mailbox taking on gunfire and trying to get as small as possible," she said.