Officers attempting to serve a warrant Tuesday morning led to a SWAT standoff with 29-year-old Stephen Morgan, who barricaded himself inside his home for almost five hours.
According to police reports, a domestic situation at the Tuggle Road residence occurred Monday night when Morgan threatened his family while holding a knife. He also brandished the knife in the presence of the officers, yet was not close enough to the officers to threaten them directly.
Officers were advised by the family that Morgan has schizophrenia, a mental disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. While there is no cure for the disorder, schizophrenia can be managed with medication. Morgan, according to family members had not been properly taking his medication in the days leading up to these events. It is noted in the police report that officers witnessed Morgan acting erratically.
The officers left the premises along with the family members pending instruction from the courts. After consulting with a judge, warrants were obtained for Morgans arrest. He was charged with simple assault and terroristic threats and acts.
Officers returned the following day to serve the warrants after receiving a tip that Morgan was at the Tuggle Road address when Morgan’s refused to come out of the home.
A search warrant was obtained for the residence and SWAT was notified. Morgan was acting erratically, and family members advised that he was still in possession of the knife from the previous night, as well as having access to a firearm located inside the home.
A partial SWAT element arrived on scene shortly after 10:00 am. Police spent almost two hours trying to convince Morgan to exit the home. Morgan then sent threatening text messages, most of which were directed at his family, however, did include a message threatening to kill police officers. Upon receiving the text, a full SWAT callout was initiated.
Negotiators were able to have brief encounters with Morgan in which it was apparent that Morgan was suffering from a mental health problem. Negotiations continued for several hours when the SWAT team fired gas rounds into the house which led to Morgan peacefully exiting the home.
Fire department personnel evaluated Morgan, then allowed to speak with his family before being transported to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. Obstruction of a law enforcement officer was added to his initial charges.