WATSONVILLE—A four-and-a-half-hour standoff between police and a man that was possibly armed with guns ended peacefully Tuesday afternoon on Kilburn Street.
According to Watsonville Police spokesperson Michelle Pulido, officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Kilburn Street for a report of a man yelling at passersby and waving a gun around 10:30am.
Police sealed off both ends of Kilburn between Ford and West Fifth streets. Heavily armed police took up position and took aim at a two-story, older-style home where the suspect was seen coming and going out the front door by witnesses.
Police also shut down sections of West Fifth and Ford streets and called for nearby Radcliff Elementary School to be locked down during the ordeal.
As the drama stretched into the third hour, several Santa Cruz Police officers and an armored Bearcat vehicle arrived. Joined by deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, police set up a command post in the nearby Bank of America parking lot.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents, kept away from their homes, stood in clutches on the perimeter as they watched the scene unfold.
One woman, who went by the name Jo, said she has lived several months in a home at the rear of the property where the incident was happening. She said the suspect has appeared mentally unstable in the past and police have responded to the property before.
In addition to rifles and handguns, police armed themselves with less than lethal weapons, typically used to subdue a suspect without serious injury.
By 3:10pm the situation diffused in a matter of seconds and police called off the entire operation after they recovered the guns involved and learned they were replicas and not real guns, Pulido said. Police quickly packed up their gear, opened the streets and residents were allowed back into their homes. Radcliff School was reopened.
No injuries were reported.
The suspect was not arrested.
“We will, however, request that the District Attorney’s Office file charges for obstruction of justice,” Pulido said.