Man hospitalized after 7-hour standoff ends in gunfire
April 10, 2013 11:56 AM
Michael Cowger (Photo courtesy of the Rutherford County Democratic Party)
SMYRNA, Tenn. -
A Smyrna man was hospitalized after a nearly seven-hour standoff resulted in gunfire late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
According to police, a man's wife came home and called police after finding her husband very upset, intoxicated and armed with a weapon.
Authorities responded to that call around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of Ellis Street in Smyrna.
When authorities arrived, the man, identified as Michael Cowger, fired off several rounds from a pistol, hitting the walls and ceiling inside his home.
"At various times he would hold it to his head. At various times he would fire off rounds inside the home," said Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold. "We have estimated that he fired approximately 6 rounds."
At no point did he fire at any officers.
Police said the 64-year-old man was highly intoxicated upon their arrival.
Officers immediately set up a perimeter, evacuated nearby homes, and contacted the SWAT team and negotiators.
Negotiators were in communication with Cowger through the window of his home and eventually sent in some tear gas to try and coax him out.
Smyrna Police Chief, Kevin Arnold told Nashville's News 2 they made the decision to cut power to the neighborhood to try and disorient him and take him out of his comfort zone.
Authorities were able to get a "throw phone" device into the home so they could monitor his movement and hear him talking to himself.
Chief Arnold told Nashville's News 2, "He kept wanting us to do what is ‘suicide by cop," and "finally we were able to get him down by hitting him with less lethal rounds from a rifle."
A police sniper fired and struck Cowger with 3 rubber bullets and other officers dashed in to tackle him.
Cowger was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.
No one else was injured and authorities were on the scene until 2 a.m.
Cowger is being charged with six counts of reckless endangerment, a Class E felony, and one count of aggravated domestic assault.