A false report of an armed man late Thursday morning called Lower Columbia SWAT operators, police officers and sheriff’s deputies to the 1500 block of Third Avenue for about an hour.
Law enforcement responded to the condominium around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday after a man reported that another man with a gun had entered his apartment. He later clarified that he only heard the man enter the building, according to Longview police.
Nearby businesses, including Polly’s Tender Loving Day Care, went into lockdown. Officers closed off the scene for about an hour.
Officers initially used a loud speaker and drones to convince the possible suspect to come out of the building.
However, by 12:30 p.m. it was determined there was no armed suspect and the scene was cleared.
“Reports of an armed man inside a condominium were false. Police are continuing to investigate potentially false statements and other related crimes,” the Longview Police Department reported shortly afterwards.
A man who had been talking to police throughout the encounter was placed into handcuffs. Longview Police Detective and SWAT operator Branden McNew confirmed the man called in the report, and Longview Captain Deborah Pineda identified him as 36-year-old Darrel Blaine Burke.
“It was a very ... easy decision to activate the swat team,” McNew said Thursday. “(With) the proximity to the day care (and) the day care being occupied ... there’s no regret in activating the team. It’s better safe than sorry. I know the department and Captain Pineda had zero regrets.”
The Lower Columbia SWAT team is comprised of officers from the Longview and Kelso police departments and Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputies. Each agency contributes a commander to the team.