Weatherford Democrat

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January 6, 2013

Man found dead after standoff

Victim barricaded himself inside home when officers tried serving a warrant

By CHRISTIN COYNE

A 29-year-old Weatherford man was found dead after a three-hour standoff Friday in the 100 block of West Fourth Street that reportedly began when officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant shortly before noon.

Law enforcement officers with the Weatherford-Parker County Special Operations Group surrounded the small home, telling John Cody Etheredge to come out of the house over a loudspeaker before shooting tear gas canisters into the building.

They entered the residence about three hours later and found the man dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted injury, Weatherford Police Sgt. Wendy Field said.

The cause and manner of his death were not available from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office as of early Saturday afternoon.

Weatherford investigators reportedly spoke with Etheredge Thursday regarding an assault of a family member that investigators believe occurred Wednesday night, according to police.

The victim of the assault reportedly had some significant injuries, though they were not life-threatening, Field said.

Police responded to the same residence around 9 p.m. Thursday regarding a possible suicide call involving Etheredge that was made by a third party, Field confirmed. However, Etheredge told officers that everything was OK, she said.

Officers then obtained an arrest warrant for Etheredge, who was charged with felony assault-family violence because of prior convictions, according to Field.

When police attempted to make contact and arrest Etheredge at his residence shortly before noon Friday, they reportedly found that he had barricaded himself inside.

The SOG team was then requested to help negotiate with the suspect and the portion of West Fourth Street between Main Street and Hanover Street, as well as a block of Hanover Street were closed by officers.

During the incident a crowd of people gathered in the nearly full parking lot of North Main Church of Christ watching the incident.

“This is the sheriff’s office,” an officer said over a loudspeaker several times. “Come out of the house with your hands up.”

Using the county’s ballistic armored tactical transport, SOG officers shot tear gas canisters through the home’s windows.

Officers then donned gas masks and entered the residence through the front door but quickly reemerged and LifeCare, followed by the Weatherford Police Crime Scene Investigator, entered the house.

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