Crime

Rock Hill SWAT team standoff with armed man ends peacefully

SWAT standoff in Rock Hill

A man barricaded himself in his home Thursday morning following a domestic situation with his wife. SWAT responded to negotiate. (video by Teddy Kulmala)
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A man barricaded himself in his home Thursday morning following a domestic situation with his wife. SWAT responded to negotiate. (video by Teddy Kulmala)

A man who barricaded himself in his Rock Hill home after police say he injured his wife during a domestic dispute Thursday morning surrendered to authorities after a six-and-a-half-hour standoff.

Bernard McCree, 53, surrendered peacefully to police at about 12:30 p.m., Rock Hill police spokesman Mark Bollinger said. No injuries were reported.

McCree was charged with criminal domestic violence, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. He was placed in the Rock Hill city jail and is expected at a bond hearing Friday morning.

Bollinger said McCree appeared “fine” when he surrendered to authorities.

“He just appeared upset and distraught,” he said.

Bernard McCree surrendered peacefully to police at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday after a SWAT standoff at his Rock Hill home. No injuries were reported to McCree or officers.

The standoff began just before 6 a.m. at 841 Horseman Drive, in a neighborhood between West Main Street and Finley Road.

McCree punched and bit his wife in the face and didn’t allow her to leave a bedroom, arrest warrants allege.

McCree locked the bedroom door, took his wife’s cellphone and car keys and held a loaded shotgun in his hands to keep her from escaping, the warrant states.

Police received the initial call from a “female in distress” about 5:50 a.m. The woman told officers her husband had kept her in the home against her will all night and fired a round from the shotgun into the wall or ceiling. Bollinger said she escaped the home after McCree fell asleep. An ambulance took her to Piedmont Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Negotiators began talking with McCree about 7 a.m. He initially refused to talk, police said, but by about 10 a.m. he began shouting back and forth with police through a window.

The Rock Hill police SWAT team had two robots on hand. They sent the larger of the two into the home and into the doorway of a bathroom, blocking McCree from leaving.

McCree made no demands or requests, except for police to get the light from the robot out of his eyes.

Police said McCree and his wife are estranged but married and that she lives in the Horseman Drive home.

Richard Allen lives across the street and has known McCree – whom friends simply call “Cree” – for about five years.

“We’re pretty good friends,” Allen said, adding that he never knew of any issues between McCree and his wife. “He seemed like a nice, peaceful guy.”

Allen said police notified him Thursday morning that there was a domestic issue. He was told if he left, he would probably not be able to return home.

“They said he had a domestic issue with his wife and now he’s got himself barricaded in the house with weapons,” he said. “I had to take my children to school.”

McCree’s criminal history includes a 2002 conviction in Chester County for criminal domestic violence, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. He was last arrested in 2006 on misdemeanor drug charges.

Teddy Kulmala •  803-329-4082

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