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Chaotic standoff in Harrisburg ended with suicide - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Chaotic standoff in Harrisburg ended with suicide

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Abel Roman Abel Roman
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

More than a hundred gunshots were exchanged during a nine-hour standoff in Harrisburg that ended after the suspect committed suicide.

Riddled with bullet holes, the door from a Hall Manor home could only skim the surface of what happened. What started at around 3 p.m. Monday turned into a nine-hour firefight.

Harrisburg police had knocked on the door to serve 24-year-old Abel Roman with a warrant for his arrest. Authorities said Roman was wanted for shooting a 23-year-old man in Philadelphia.

From then, Roman barricaded himself inside the home. Throughout the night, the Dauphin County CERT team was called to assist. Police tried to negotiate through a bullhorn and at one point Roman asked for cigarettes and to speak with his mother.

Armed with a shotgun, Roman fired shots at police. Pellets struck the hand of CERT officer Kirk Aldrich, who was rushed to a hospital. Aldrich was treated and released Tuesday.

Police used urban assault vehicles, tear gas and even a law enforcement robot to coerce Roman out of the home. In the end, Roman was found dead inside. Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick said Roman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

As day erased a wild night, people living in Hall Manor were able to return home. Carla Drayton was exhausted, physically and emotionally.

"It's sad out here," she said. "When they talk about we're living out here. We're doing it to each other. All across. We're doing it."

Police wrapped up what seemed like miles of yellow caution tape Tuesday afternoon. Saith El said the violence reminded him of home. El said he escaped his war-torn home of Cambodia and thought Pennsylvania would bring him peace.

"We try to get away and we come to United States. I fear all my life," said El.

Mayor Linda Thompson hoped action might suppress some of that fear. She joined 725 mayors across the nation Tuesday to ask President Barack Obama to ban assault weapons and sales of high-capacity magazines.

"We can no longer continue to allow mass killings facilitated by combat assault weaponry designed with massive killing power against our human beings," Thompson said.

Thompson also said she understands the majority of NRA members and gun owners are law abiding citizens. Yet, the mayor said she feels more restrictions and tougher penalties for offenders may help curb gun-related violence.

In short, Drayton said people in Harrisburg are exhausted.

"We're tired," she said. "Yeah, we tired. We tired."

According to police, 187 guns have been recovered in the city this year. Criminal charges have been brought on 128 of those guns.

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