A man facing eviction threatened to kill himself if anyone tried to force him from his Woodlawn apartment yesterday, then took his life during a standoff with Baltimore County police, authorities said.
About 200 children who live in the immediate neighborhood were kept in their schools after the usual dismissal time as police officers attempted to negotiate with the armed man and persuade him to surrender peacefully, police and county schools officials said.
The incident began about noon when the man - whose name was not released - refused to leave the Windsor Mill Apartments in the first block of Mountbatten Court and threatened suicide, police said.
He was armed with a handgun, police said, and was believed to be alone.
Streets near the scene were blocked by police cars, pedestrian traffic was limited, and area children were kept late at Woodlawn High, Woodlawn Middle, and Featherbed Lane and Woodmoor elementary schools, officials said.
County schools spokesman Charles A. Herndon said some children were permitted to leave as parents and guardians arrived to pick them up. Students at the middle and high schools who normally walk home were asked, but not required, to stay, he added.
Herndon said the last children left Featherbed Lane about 6:30 p.m.
About 8 p.m., a robotic device equipped with a TV camera was sent into the apartment. On a monitor outside, officers viewed the man lying inside - apparently dead. Going inside, they reported that the man had fatally shot himself.