State Police investigate Cumberland standoff that left resident dead | Local News
CARMICHAELS – Broken windows and doors at a mobile home in Cumberland Township were already on board Wednesday, a day after its resident kept police at bay during a nearly 12-hour standoff before dying shortly after been kicked out of the house.
State Police have released some details of the situation that ended in the death of Jeffry Christopher in the back of an ambulance after soldiers removed him from his residence at 76 Route 88 Mobile Home Park around 9:15 am Tuesday after the long dead end.
According to court documents, Christopher fired two shots at police officers early Tuesday after Cumberland Township police were called to his home when a family member called 911 for a mental health check at around 10 p.m. hours Monday.
Belinda Pyles, who lives across from Christopher’s mobile home, said she was woken up around 2 a.m. on Tuesday after police knocked on her door and told her that she and all the other members of his house had to leave immediately. Pyles grabbed her grandson and dog, and they left with an agent into her backyard and waited at a nearby store as the standoff lasted for hours, she said.
They saw the specialized state police response team prepare with bulletproof vests and weapons, and deploy an armored vehicle that approached Christopher’s mobile home and drilled holes in it. the walls, windows and doors when he refused to surrender.
Pyles was allowed to return home shortly before noon on Tuesday after police said the situation was over. She then spoke to a woman who identified herself as Christopher’s daughter, who said he died in the ambulance while being transported to a local hospital.
Christopher, 59, was pronounced dead at WHS-Greene Hospital around noon on Tuesday. Greene County Deputy Coroner Marty Yoskovich said an autopsy was performed on Wednesday, but the results would not be known for five to six weeks.
The girl, who Pyles did not know or identify, told Pyles she called the police for help when her father was acting strangely and appeared to be suffering from mental health issues.
Back home, Pyles could smell a strong smell in her neighborhood after State Police apparently filled Christopher’s house with a smoke irritant to get him out of the residence and end the standoff.
âIf you went through that, you could smell it really strong,â Pyles said of the unidentified substance.
She said Christopher had told her in previous conversations that he has COPD and sometimes has trouble breathing, especially in hot weather. Pyles said he had lived in the house for about a year and had acted “oddly” on previous encounters with her.
She marveled at the scene in front of her house as she stood on her porch and gazed at Christopher’s ravaged mobile home which was boarded up and lacked siding in places with curtains and wooden planks strewn about in the court.
âIt was a mess,â Pyles said of what was left of Christopher’s house. “Nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood.”
Private Forrest Allison said Washington State Police were leading the investigation, but declined to provide further details on how the standoff ended or what may have led to the death of Christopher. Investigators requested a search warrant for Christopher’s house on Tuesday afternoon, but it had not been returned to District Judge Lee Watson’s office by noon on Wednesday.