Lakeview Stand-off Suspect & Wife Arrested
It happened shortly around 8:30 Wednesday morning and lasted for several hours.
Deputies were reportedly called to the 200 block of South Elmwood Street in reference to a 911 call about a suicidal man who was making threats. That man has been identified by authorities as David Grooms, 49.
"Officers arrived on scene and did encounter Mr.Grooms. He was still on his front porch at his doorway," said Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk.
During a press conference, Sisk told WDEF that Grooms was armed with a fully loaded rifle and handgun.
"He did threaten the officers by saying that if they came on his property, he would shoot them," Sisk said.
Every street leading to the suspects home was blocked off. Lakeview Middle School, which is less than 1000 feet from the standoff, was placed on lockdown.
Catoosa County Schools Director of Operations, Doug Suits said the lockdown was a precautionary measure.
"We just do not allow students outside the building. We maintain them inside the building and try to keep operations as normal as possible," Suits said.
Once the lockdown began, text messages from school officials started going out to parents.
WDEF spoke with Mark Kenea in a parking lot next to the school. Kenea was a concerned parent who was trying to figure out what was happening.
"I called the school and they said there’s possibly a gunman in the area so it’s kind of terrifying a little bit," Kenea said.
Several hours into the standoff, WDEF spoke to neighbors who lived directly behind the suspects home. According to those neighbors, Grooms started yelling strange statements long before he called 911.
"He’s just been yelling a bunch of crazy stuff; threatening to kill people," said Tyler Moore.
"Go ahead and do what you’re going to do. I’m tired of this. You people are trying to rape my wife," said Zack Hudnall who was repeating statements made by Grooms.
Fearing the threat by Grooms, local authorities called in the FBI for a specific reason.
"Grooms does have a past military background and they have access to some of those files and exactly what he did in the military," said Sheriff Sisk.
After several hours of keeping authorities at bay, Grooms surrendered himself. He was charged with two counts of issuing terrorist threats.
His wife who has been identified as Melanie Grooms, 42, was also arrested and charged with obstruction. According to Catoosa County Jail officials, she posted bond early Wednesday evening.