A suspect in an assault held police at bay for 15 hours in a protracted standoff that ended early Monday morning in Killeen.

Police took into custody a 33-year-old man, who faces a misdemeanor assault charge. The man had barricaded himself inside a home while threatening suicide.

The department will not reveal his identity until the assault charge is screened by the Bell County District Attorney’s office.

Police initially went to a home in the 3600 block of Tatonka Drive about 1:30 p.m. Sunday to check on the man’s welfare. The alleged victim of an assault told police the suspect had made statements that he may kill himself, and that there were multiple weapons inside the home, Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith said.

When police arrived, the man refused to leave the house. Police dispatched the Tactical Response Unit — KPD’s SWAT team — to the area to begin what would turn into an extended negotiation with the man.

“At that point, you don’t want to rush anybody,” Smith said, “You have time on your hands. You build a rapport, try to talk him out, and that’s what we did.”

While wearing body armor and armed with assault rifles, police began evacuating the residents of about six neighboring homes.

Police used various means of communication to stay in contact with the man. Officers spoke to him directly, on his telephone and sent him text messages, Smith said.

By 10 p.m., officers encouraged those temporarily displaced residents to spend the night at a shelter in the Killeen Community Center.

Police negotiators continued to communicate with the man until a few minutes before 5 a.m. Monday, when the suspect surrendered peacefully.

He remained in Killeen City Jail late Monday with pending charges that likely will be formalized today.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553

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