Local News

Standoff in Rocky Mount ends after suspect shoots self

Posted May 26, 2009 11:00 a.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2009 3:02 p.m. EDT

— A standoff that lasted nearly 20 hours ended Tuesday morning when a man who was barricaded inside a Rocky Mount home shot himself as State Bureau of Investigation agents entered the home.

Nash County Sheriff Richard Jenkins said the man, Thomas Austin Rose, 22, was taken alive to Nash General Hospital, but he did not know where Rose had shot himself.



Rose was later transferred to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where his condition was not immediately available.

Deputies were trying to serve Rose outstanding warrants for a probation violation and a larceny charge when Rose barricaded himself inside a friend's house at 724 Dana Lane, Jenkins said.

No one else was inside the house; his friend left before the standoff.

About 70 people from the Rocky Mount police, the Nash County Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina Highway Patrol were on hand throughout the standoff, which started when Rose fired a shot, Jenkins said.

He said he did not believe the shot was toward any officers and that no shots were fired throughout the situation.

A police negotiator was able to communicate with Rose by text messaging and telephone until about 2:15 a.m. Authorities lost contact with him after that.

"As long as you can talk to him and negotiate with him, the better you are," Jenkins said. "But he quit talking and we decided we had to do something, and we did. Certainly, it's not the outcome we wanted."

An SBI special response team was called in early Tuesday, and Jenkins said agents began making a move toward the house around 9:15 a.m.

Jenkins said they launched gas canisters inside the house in an effort to smoke him out. When nothing happened, they moved closer to the house and sent in a robot, which didn't detect any movement in the house.

As agents entered the house and were looking around, they heard a gunshot. They found Rose in either a closet or pantry, Jenkins said.

Rose has a criminal record dating to 2004, and he has been in and out of jail since 2005, according to court records. Some of his charges were breaking and entering, resisting a public officer and possession of stolen goods.