CYPRESS, Texas – A 27-year-old suspect was found dead in a Cypress home after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement officials, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 2:20 p.m., deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force arrived at a home in the 15200 block of Vincennes Oak Street, near the intersection of Grant and Shaw roads.
Officials said they were following up on a tip that Christopher Julian was hiding in his home, owned by his father.
Julian was wanted in connection with the fatal Wednesday night shooting of his friend, 29-year-old Samuel Schmitt, at a home on Kinley Ann Court in Magnolia.
As soon as officers arrived at the house, Julian began firing multiple rounds at them, according to Montgomery County Lt. Scott Spencer. None of the officers were hurt in the gunfire and none returned fire, he said. Multiple law enforcement vehicles were struck in the gunfire, officials said.
The officers called for backup and members of the Tomball Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office all arrived at the scene.
The street was sealed off and residents in the home and other nearby homes were evacuated, according to Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, bomb squad and hostage negotiation unit worked to establish communication with Julian who was barricaded in the home for more than three hours. A robotic device was used to cut a hole in the side of the home, officials said.
At 5:51 p.m., officials announced that deputies had entered the home and found Julian dead from an apparent self-inflicted wound. His cause and manner of death are still unknown, officials said.
Several assault rifles and a shotgun were found in the home.
As of 6:15 p.m., evacuated residents were being allowed to return to their homes. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit will continue to process the scene for several more hours and the street will remain closed to outsiders until investigations are completed, officials said.
Neighbors describe nightmarish standoff
Lucia Sandoval, Julian’s next-door neighbor, said she was at home with her two children when the standoff began.
“I started to panic. I was scared. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is going on,‘” Sandoval said.
She described Julian as being very friendly.
“He was very friendly. He’s always saying hi to us,” she said.
Another neighbor, Jim Capps, said at least two bullets from the gunfire hit his home.
“There was a lot of things caught in the crossfire as well with our homes and vehicles and things like that so you never would expect it to happen here,” Capps said.