Nanuet: Police find distraught man dead of gunshot wound
Feb 25, 2011 |
NANUET A 52-year-old disabled man who had been holed up in his apartment during a tense seven-hour standoff with police has been found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Sgt. Tim O'Neill said police entered Kevin Dowling's apartment at 205 S. Main St. at 1:17 p.m. and found him lying on his bed with a single bullet wound to his chest. A rifle and an eviction notice were on the bed beside his body.
Dowling had told a friend he was facing eviction from his apartment and was holding a gun to his head.
About 20 minutes earlier, police had launched tear gas canisters into the unit from the front and rear. Police used caution because Dowling's friend told them he had both a handgun and rifle and slept with both.
O'Neill said police did not hear any gunshot during the entire time they were outside the apartment.
Police closed streets near the scene between Prospect and Orchard streets and were redirecting traffic headed for the Nanuet train station a block away. The incident was reported shortly before 6:30 a.m. and the impasse has continued more than seven hours later.
At 10:42 a.m., a police negotiator communicated via speaker with Dowling.
"We just want to make sure you're OK," the officer said. "Give me a call. We want to help you."
It marks the second time in a day that town police had to respond to a man barricaded in his home. On Thursday night, a five-hour standoff came to a close after a man with a rifle fired at police. No one was injured and the man was arrested after police fired pepper spray canisters into his house. Francis Bifulco, 26, of 16 Ludvigh Road dropped his weapon and surrendered.
This morning, police said, a friend started talking with Dowling at 5 a.m. Dowling told told the friend he was to be evicted at 9 a.m. today and was depressed. The friend concluded that Dowling, who had been on medication, was suicidal. The friend also knew Dowling owned a gun.
The friend started driving over to Dowling's apartment while keeping him talking on the cell phone. From his car, the friend asked a passer-by to call the police. An officer arrived and spoke with Dowling on the friend's cell phone and asked him to come out. Dowling told the officer that he would come out when he was ready and that he was holding a gun to his head.
That was the last contact police had with Dowling. His cell phone rings but he has not picked it up.
About 40 Clarkstown police officers were on the scene, and police evacuated the other apartments in the 2-story building, which has an insurance office on the street level. Police also evacuated a delicatessen nearby and other businesses using the department's Bear Cat mini-tank.
Police did not have information on Dowling's disability.
Read more about this story tomorrow on lohud.com and in The Journal News.