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Bodycam footage captures arrest of suspected barricaded gunman in Livonia

Suspect had brief standoff with police

LIVONIA, Mich. – Body camera footage captured the moment police took a suspected barricaded gunman into custody after a standoff Tuesday.

According to authorities, James Fernandes, 43, fired a gun at a court officer during an eviction -- that led to a standoff with the police. No injuries were reported.

Neighbors told Local 4 there’s more to the story than a man who didn’t pay his rent.

“I think he was overwhelmed by situation,” one neighbor said. “I don’t believe he wanted to hurt anybody.”

Before firing several shots, neighbors tried talking to Fernandes. Facing an imminent eviction, the father of three was distraught and depressed.

Neighbors claim Fernandes politely declined an offer to help. When the neighbor left, the next thing she heard was gunfire.

“I was across the street,” a neighbor said. “We saw eviction people running away and decided it was a good idea to go in our house.”

One neighbor who lives in the basement was at home when she heard multiple gunshots. Livonia police and a SWAT team responded to the scene within minutes, not knowing what they were up against.

“There were police officers surrounding the house,” a witness said. “They were taking cover at every house. We could see them from the backyard.”

The woman who lives in the basement was not hurt. She told neighbors she got a lengthy text message from Fernandez telling her he had thoughts about harming himself.

Fernandes is facing two counts each of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with a dangerous weapon and four counts of felony firearm.

RELATED: Livonia man charged after allegedly firing shots at court officer trying to evict him

He is expected to return to court Dec. 5.


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