A standoff with Des Moines police ended up with a fire and a man in custody. Police spokesman Sergeant Bruce Elrod says officers had to go in after a man who allegedly fired a gun at them and then set fire to his own place. Other tenants were already evacuated before the smoky blaze billowed out windows in the third floor. Officers who burst into the apartment took the suspect out a balcony door, their escape blocked by the rising flames till firefighters on the ground could rescue them with ladders. Two officers and the suspect were taken to a local hospital with smoke inhalation. Elrod says it began when a woman phoned police to say a shot had been fired through the wall into her apartment, about 10:15 this morning. He says when officers arrived, the suspect fired a few shots at them. Police tried to talk with the man, but Elrod says all their efforts failed.The man kept hanging up on the police negotiator. When police realized there was a fire burning in the apartment, they gave up efforts to talk the man out, and kicked down the door. He didn’t have the gun when they pulled him out, though officers at the time said they could hear popping as ammunition apparently exploded in the fire. The suspect’s been identified as 29-year-old Anthony Handy, the tenant who rented the apartment where the standoff and fire occurred.Charges will include first-degree arson, terrorism, and probably more. Do police get many calls to the apartment complex where the fire broke out? Elrod says it’s a big place.It’s kind of a “city within a city” and so there are lots of calls, but probably not out of the ordinary for that many residents. The apartment complex is on Des Moines’ southeast side.
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