Police standoff in Athens Sunday night ends peacefully

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Several tense hours in Athens Sunday night. Police tell us a man opened fire in the front yard of his home on Levert Avenue around 8:30 PM prompting a three-hour standoff.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says officers were responding to a call about gunshots fired in the area of Levert Avenue and Browns Ferry Road in Athens.

"Officers responding actually heard shots and were able to track it to this residence behind me on Second Street," Chief Johnson told reporters.

No electricity in the home, it was dark, police surrounded the place. They were able to help the man's wife and three children sneak out of a window.

"According to his wife it's not the first time he has done this. It's the first time we know of it. But he got drunk and went outside and start shooting," Johnson explained.

He says the man appeared twice during the three-hour standoff, firing his gun into the air.  But Johnson says the man never pointed the gun at officers and they didn't shoot back. They would let the alcohol do its job.

"We used our robot. They had an open window and we put the robot in, found him in the residence asleep, went in and secured him without incident. No one was injured, no additional shots fired," Johnson says.

The gunman is identified as 26-year-old Roberto Alii Gonzales.  He'll live to face a number of charges and maybe get the help he needs.

"I'm glad it ended this way. This is what we train for. We train continuously to try to do it this way. It's the best way to do it," said Chief Johnson.

Gonzales' wife and children spent the night with friends. Chief Johnson says they'll be back out at the house Monday morning to take a look around to see if the gunfire caused any damage they didn't see last night.

By the way, the robot's name is Milward, named in honor of a retired officer.

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