LAWRENCEVILLE - An armed man who allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend and was believed to be holed up in her Lawrenceville apartment remained at-large late Thursday after Gwinnett police SWAT raided the residence and could not locate the suspect, police say.
At about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, Roger Crumblin Jr., a 32-year-old black man allegedly wanted in South Carolina on a variety of violent charges, was believed to be armed and barricaded inside his girlfriend's apartment in the 5300 block of Sugarloaf Parkway, Gwinnett police spokesman Officer David Schiralli said. Upon further search, however, the residence was determined to be empty, prompting an improvised manhunt.
The woman, who was not identified, apparently fled the state recently after Crumblin threatened to kill her, Schiralli said. The woman then contacted her lawyer regarding the threat, who later called Gwinnett authorities.
Schiralli said Gwinnett SWAT believed he was still in the apartment because the front door was dead bolted from inside. SWAT initially responded by sending in a robot enabled with a camera, but could not find the suspect. At about 9:45 p.m., a small team of SWAT members attempted to locate the suspect, a final push, authorities said, to end the standoff.
Shortly after 10 p.m., however, it was discovered the apartment was vacant and authorities began to canvas the area.
The standoff began about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. By late evening, the complex was surrounded with a large number of Gwinnett police officers as a precaution in case Crumblin attempted to escape.
Residents said the scene was surreal.
Kaitlin Kissel, 20, who lives with her fiance at the complex, said she saw a camouflaged sniper enter some nearby woods when SWAT arrived.
"They won't let us go into our apartment. I have medication I have to take and I had to be escorted to my apartment to grab it and come back out," she said.