Suspect flees scene following SWAT situation in Concord

CHARLOTTE — Officers with the Concord Police Department and SWAT spent hours working to access an armed and barricaded suspect in the Freedom Acres neighborhood off Weddington Road on Sunday morning.

CPD said the situation began around 4:39 a.m. when police were called by a neighbor who reported hearing gunshots and a person yelling in their backyard.

Responding officers say the suspect was verbally aggressive and was yelling at them in the backyard before going back inside the home. At the scene, officials believed they heard gunshots from inside the home and called in the SWAT team.

Officials say the suspect’s father was in the home during the incident and was able to leave while police worked to communicate with the suspect and bring him into custody.

At the scene, Channel 9′s photographer saw a heavy police presence, firetrucks and K9 crews throughout the neighborhood. Later in the day, he saw SWAT and emergency medical vehicles.

Police say there is no evidence that shots were fired at residents or officers.

CPD says that before the suspect could be taken into custody, he left the scene on a motorcycle through the basement doors, going across the backyard and onto a nearby street. Officers say, in the interest of public safety, they did not follow the suspect.

Officials identified the suspect as Kerry Thomas Keith, 51, from Concord, who has an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor reckless driving.

Officers are continuing to investigate the incident and say that charges may follow.

At the scene, Channel 9 veteran crime reporter Glenn Counts was able to speak with residents of the Freedom Acres neighborhood who had quite the unorthodox alarm Sunday morning.

Allan Butt has lived in the neighborhood for three years, and Sunday’s incident was not the first time police have been called to Keith’s home.

“For hours and hours they were blasting this is the Concord Police Department; come out with your hands up,” Butt said. “We love this neighborhood, and this has kind of shaken us for sure.”

Another resident, who called 911, spoke with Counts but did not want to be identified. She said this incident had the largest police response so far. She explained that, just like her other neighbors, she was shaken up after the incident.

“Well, today was probably the busiest day; there were a lot more cops than usual, but it was hard having someone two doors down that you just don’t know when they are going to snap,” the neighbor said.

Butt told Counts that even after Sunday’s events, he doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. Police say Keith suffers from mental health issues, but he is hoping he can get proper help.

“I don’t want to move; I just hope the guy gets help, whatever kind of help he needs,” Butt said.

Officials confirmed that no shots were fired, but they do have an involuntary commitment order to serve once they catch up with him.

This is a developing story; check wsoctv.com for updates.

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