Feb 12, 2018, 6:22 PM ET

3 women killed, 3 cops injured in barricade incident: 'Easily could have been a higher death toll,' police say

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Three women were killed and three police officers injured in a dangerous barricade incident at a Detroit home that lasted from Sunday night through today, Detroit police said.

The suspect, Lance Smith, 49, who police said has seven legal guns registered to his name, was heard saying, "I will not be taken without a fight," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a news conference this morning.

The three injured police officers suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the leg, Craig said.

The "dangerous" standoff came to an end today when police made entry into Smith's home through robots and found the suspect dead inside, police said, adding that they believe he took his own life.

A woman who police said was Smith's girlfriend was also found dead inside, Detroit Police Deputy Chief Elvin Barren said at a news conference.

The other two women were found shot outside the home, police said. Two of the victims were in their 50s and another was age 46, Elvin said.

There "easily could have been a higher death toll," Barren said.

PHOTO: Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaks at a press conference , Feb. 12, 2018.WXYZ
Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaks at a press conference , Feb. 12, 2018.

The barricade began Sunday night with a 911 call to police about shots fired from a home, Craig said.

The suspect fired "an unknown number of rounds, basically attacked first the civilian victims," Craig said.

The suspect then allegedly fired at an off-duty officer who lives in the neighborhood and then fired at the responding Detroit police officers, Craig said.

The Detroit police officers "were pinned down by gunfire for at least an hour," Craig said. "And during that hour time, they were waiting for the response of our special response team who did a phenomenal job quickly getting in and safely moving out those who were shot, including those who were shot fatally.”

An armored vehicle was brought in to help get those officers to safety, he said.

Then came a second attack on the officers, Craig said, during which the third officer was shot and then rescued by his partner.

The last time police heard from Smith was at about 2 a.m. When they attempted to speak with him through the loudspeaker, Smith would not say anything other than the threats he made threats he made early on, Barren said.

The standoff lasted 14 hours, Elvin said.

It is unclear if Smith had a phone, but he did not communicate with anyone during the standoff, Elvin said.

Multiple fires were also lit in the home, allegedly by the suspect, police said, noting there is no heat inside the house. Schools in the area were closed to keep children away from the ongoing incident.

Smith did not have a criminal history and did not have any diagnosis of mental illness, according to Elvin.

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  • Realpshep

    Simply too many people have access to guns...especially nuts and people filled with hate .

  • reality25

    Oh well, the article says he had no history of "mental illness", so he's just another bad hombre who had access to guns

  • Indy

    Was about to say, 'Wish they would just kill themselves and leave everyone else out of it', but then remembered that suicides account for over half of all firearm related deaths. Many are already killing themselves because of their mental health issues, and they're already leaving everyone else out of it. Guess things in America could actually be worse with the firearms issue, and there doesn't seem to be any silver linings to be found for this issue on the horizon. Just another day in America, smh.

  • Optimist-2618173

    The guns were legally registered, all laws were followed to the letter, and no one's Second Amendment rights were infringed. I believe that's as much as the NRA wants to hear regarding this story.

  • Prophet With Honor

    Lance Smith, clearly a Muslim who came in illegally from Mexico to take an American job of killing people.

  • allison kirkpatric

    "Lance Smith, 49, who police said has seven legal guns registered to his name" ....b-b-b-but...I thought we could "trust" legal gun owners?

  • justamaz

    Even being a gun owner, I believe there is a point to infringe on one's supposedly rights and remove weapons from those with mental issues.

  • Douglas Archer

    House does not have heat. Was this true before the standoff started? Could be part of the stress that escalated.
    Congratulation to the police for not acting rashly and letting the process work.

  • j huber

    All US law enforcement is corrupt. They will kill John Q. Public in less than 30 seconds for a tail light violation, but are scared to death of the crooked Clinton Crime Cartel, and won't go within a thousand miles. And somehow these idiots in DC call that crap justice?

  • Dukedaddy

    If only the other people in the house were armed with guns, they could have prevented this from happening.

    <sarcasm>

  • August Jones

    There is no mental health treatment in the USA; what a racket.

  • Prophet With Honor

    What sort of mental illness?