BERKELY, Missouri (KMOV) – A SWAT standoff ended outside a home in Berkeley after a gunman who fired a shot at an officer was taken into custody Thursday.
Police say the 51-year-old gunman, identified by a family attorney as Kelvin Purnell, was locked alone inside his house in the 6700 block of Carol Lee Drive for several hours while officers tried to talk him out. He finally came out of the house and was taken into custody just before 5:30 p.m.
The attorney says Purnell was frustrated over family members’ attempts to move his elderly father out of the house he shared with Purnell.
According to the attorney, a social worker and police officer came to the home earlier Thursday. The attorney said the incident boiled over when Purnell exchanged words with the social worker and officer. Purnell fired once at the officer, but no one was hit.
The social worker and officer ran from the scene and the elderly man was freed.
SWAT units arrived to the scene a short time later in an effort to talk Purnell out of the house. The standoff lasted for several hours until Purnell surrendered.
Ferguson-Florissant School District officials said Ferguson and Berkeley middle schools and Johnson Wabash, Walnut Grove and Duschesne elementary schools were at one point under a shelter-in-place. Officials said they were not on a lockdown because there had been no direct threat to students.
All bus services at those schools were also suspended for the day. Officials said students were not being allowed to walk home, but said they could be picked up by their parents or caregivers who show up personally at the schools.
Stay with KMOV.com or watch News 4 at 5 and 6 for the latest on this developing situation.