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PORT CHARLOTTE – Charlotte County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit detectives today officially closed the case on the Sep. 21 10-hour SWAT standoff at 18426 Wintergarden Ave., Port Charlotte.
The Medical Examiner’s Office classified the death of Thomas Edward Dickie, 46, as a suicide saying he died due to a gunshot wound to the head.
The ME report said there was no evidence of any significant underlying natural disease noticed, and Dickie had been consuming alcoholic beverages prior to his death.
MCU detectives said during their investigation, Dickie fired a total of 123 rounds from his 9mm Glock handgun or an Eotech Military Use 308 caliber Assault Rifle. A third weapon, a Daewoo 40 caliber handgun was found in the home but not fired.
Also located were ammunition boxes containing quantities of ammo and bullet casings. Bullet holes were found in all eight rooms in the home.
Deputies evacuated homes in the immediate area during the standoff and when it was all over, detectives said four homes in the neighborhood also had bullet holes.
Dickie’s mother had been in the home with her son, then left and called the CCSO. She said her son was the only person in the house, he was intoxicated, mentally ill, hallucinating, taking medication for anxiety and anti-depressants, and threatened to kill her and his ex-wife. She said he had several guns in the home and he said he would shoot anyone who tried to take him from the house.
Deputies were dispatched to the home and upon arrival Dickie began firing shots in many different directions in rapid fire succession; deputies took immediate cover.
CCSO deputies, detectives, K-9, aviation and crisis negotiators arrived, set up a perimeter and had homes in a two block area evacuated. Gunshots were heard for the next couple hours.
SWAT teams from Charlotte and Lee counties responded.
LCSO brought its Armored Personal Carrier and later in the evening smashed in the front door.
A robot was introduced into the home and with its surveillance camera started checking the rooms inside.
The robot found Dickie lying in the bathtub with an apparent bullet wound to his head and the 9mm Glock handgun near the body.
Detectives also stated in the final report that, “no law enforcement member had fired any rounds and during the 10-hour stand-off, neither law enforcement nor civilians in the neighborhood were injured.”