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January 30, 2013

Armed standoff leads to arrest

No injuries in 4-hour event in Atkinson

ATKINSON — A SWAT team was called to a Crystal Hill Road home Monday night during a four-hour standoff that ended peacefully.

Michael McBride, 43, of 7 Crystal Hill Road fired three shots inside his house, while his wife and children were there, according to police. His family left the house and called police at about 7 p.m.

Atkinson police tried repeatedly to get McBride to come out. He refused.

An hour later, police called in the New Hampshire State Police SWAT team.

“As we got information and a full picture of what was going on,” Sgt. Patrick Caggiano said, “we decided to start getting our assets in place early because of the difficult weather conditions (Monday) night. We can only last so long in these elements.”

The SWAT team arrived after 8 p.m. Police maintained in constant contact with McBride, who did threaten to kill himself.

“The conversation ranged from everything between current events to his family,” Caggiano said.

Finally, at 11:10 p.m., McBride stepped out of the house. The SWAT team ordered him to drop his gun and he complied after 30 seconds.

He was charged with two counts of felony reckless conduct for firing the shots inside the home. Caggiano said McBride did not have any history with the Atkinson Police Department.

Caggiano said he didn’t know why McBride was so upset, but he speculated it could have been financial troubles.

“It was a range of emotions that he went through,” Caggiano said. “When you’re dealing with issues of mental illness, it’s like dripping water into a glass. Eventually, all those drips will add up. You think you can contain everything, but all those drips start to fall over the glass.”

In addition to Atkinson police and the SWAT team, Plaistow police assisted with scene control. The Atkinson Fire Department was also on scene. Caggiano said about 30 officers responded; they never entered the house.

Caggiano praised the work of his officers and the SWAT team for ensuring a safe outcome.

McBride was arraigned by video from the county jail yesterday morning. Bail was set at $7,500 cash. He was still in jail yesterday afternoon.

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