Crime & Courts

Rock Hill SWAT team standoff with armed man ends peacefully

A SWAT officer arrives to the scene of Horseman Drive, where a suspect has barricaded himself in his home.
A SWAT officer arrives to the scene of Horseman Drive, where a suspect has barricaded himself in his home. tkulmala@heraldonline.com

A man who barricaded himself in his Rock Hill home after injuring his wife during a domestic dispute Thursday morning surrendered to authorities almost seven hours later, according to Rock Hill Police.

Bernard McCree, 52, surrendered peacefully to police at about 12:30 p.m., police spokesman Mark Bollinger said. No injuries were reported to McCree or to officers.

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

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

The standoff began just before 6 a.m. at 841 Horseman Drive, near McFadden Street in southern Rock Hill.

Throughout the standoff, police said, McCree was armed with a shotgun, which he reportedly fired into the ceiling or wall at some point Wednesday night. His wife was injured, but she wasn’t shot. She was taken by ambulance to Piedmont Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Police received the initial call from a “female in distress” about 5:50 a.m. Negotiators began talking with McCree about 7:30 a.m.

McCree initially refused to talk, police said, but by about 10 a.m. began shouting back and forth with police through a window. Bollinger said negotiators first tried talking with McCree about family and what happened Wednesday night.

The SWAT team had two robots on hand, the larger of which they sent into the home and reportedly positioned in the doorway of the bathroom where McCree was, blocking him in.

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 still married, and that she lives in the Horseman Drive home.

Richard Allen lives across the street from the couple and has known McCree – whom they 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.”

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

“I had to take my children to school,” Allen said.

McCree has several arrests on his record, including 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.

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