Schenectady County

Police employ tear gas to end standoff

A police response to shots fired on Frank Street turned into a standoff at the Southgate Apartments

A police response to shots fired on Frank Street turned into a standoff at the Southgate Apartments Monday, ending when officers fired tear gas into one of the units.

Two men were taken into custody but late Monday, neither had been charged, said police, who were still interviewing witnesses into the night.

No one was reported injured in the shooting, but authorities focused on the apartment at 225 Frank St. after suspects were seen running to it, Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian Kulcullen said.

The incident began at about 9:15 a.m. after police were called and told of six shots being fired. Three men then fled into the nearby apartment. Police said they thought the apartment was known to the individuals and said shots had been fired in the area in daylight earlier this month as well.

Police surrounded the building and evacuated neighboring apartments. They called in ambulances, and several elderly residents from neighboring apartments were watched over by paramedics.

Police got three individuals out of the apartment using a loudspeaker just before 11 a.m. However, police suspected more were inside refusing to come out.

At about 12:30 p.m., officers fired the tear gas canisters in and SWAT members converged. The gas did its job and the two men inside were already coming out. They were taken into custody without further incident. Their identities were not available Monday.

The incident began less than an hour before law enforcement and local clergy announced a gun amnesty program aimed at getting weapons off the street.

It also drew onlookers as police converged on the apartment.

Michele Addy, 37, watched as police went in. She lives in a nearby building and heard the initial gunfire, which she described as several booms. She also said a similar incident happened a month ago.

“I’m going to start looking for a new place,” the mother of two said. “This is ridiculous.”

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