Police standoff in New Bedford ends peacefully

The suspect arrested after a tense standoff with police in New Bedford will be in court Friday morning. Police have identified the man as 30-year-old John Hernandez.

The standoff had residents on edge and traffic at a standstill on Thursday night during the height of the evening commute.

The standoff began shortly after 5 p.m. in Southcoast Condominium Complex located on Phillips Road when an armed man barricaded himself inside of one of the apartments.

Shots were fired when police first arrived on scene, prompting the police to close down Route 140 on both sides between exits six and seven bringing traffic to a standstill.

New Bedford's Mayor says the peacefulresolution to the volatile incident is a credit to the training and bravery ofall of the responding officers.

"It reflects the work of a very welltrained police department, both the new Bedford police department as well asthe state police. They did precisely what they were supposed to have done, andnobody got hurt. Nobody got hurt because they did that job so well," MayorJon Mitchell said.

But with a four hour standoff, that surrenderdidn't come easily.

In fact, it took the combined efforts of allresponding officers who are part of the New Bedford Special Reaction Team, andthe Massachusetts State Police Stop Team to carry out the take-down plan thatauthorities ultimately employed to force the situation to a peacefulconclusion.

Capt. John Byrne is the Tactical OperationsDirector for the Massachusetts State Police. He said it was something called a BearCat,that really came in handy on Thursday night to keep officers, residents andhighway drivers safe.

It's a multi purpose transportation vehicle,it's armored. It protects the operators. It enables them to approach closely toa building, or to the threat itself, and they are able to do many things at onetime.

And the ability to break a window safelywithout injuring the driver, is one of its most useful features.

"Once we were able to breach the windowsand make contact with him, they were able create a dialogue that tempered thesituation and he came to his senses and realized it was in his best interest tosurrender," Byrne said.

"I think everybody better stop and takea breath, and really think, and give a lot of credit to the initial officers onthe scene that stabilized it, knocked it down. It was an exceptionallyastounding peaceful resolution, to what could have been an uglysituation," New Bedford Police Chief David Provenchersaid.

Through negotiations the suspect was convinced to peacefully surrender, and the situation was able to be resolved before anyone was injured.

According to investigators, "family issues" may have led to the standoff.

The suspect remains in custody and police told NBC 10 that he will face a long list of charges.