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Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00

Albemarle, VA, Police Identify Suspect in Armed Body Shop Standoff Lasting More than Four Hours

A half-dozen Albemarle County police with guns drawn rushed a man holed up inside Brown Collision Center in Charlottesville, VA, since roughly 6:30 pm on May 9, 2014, ending a nearly four-hour standoff at 10:15 pm.

SWAT teams joined police officers and crisis negotiators for the standoff that lasted for about four and a half hours. Shortly before 10:30 pm, police led the shirtless suspect out of the building, as a crowd across the street near Fashion Square Mall cheered.


After being detained May 9, Richard Barracks was arrested and charged with one felony count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Barracks is 32 years old and from Esmont, VA. He is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

A worker at Brown’s said he heard shots hours earlier and saw a gunman stumble before his manager locked the auto shop with the man inside. As the standoff unfolded, county police lined a curb with weapons drawn and camouflage-clad officers crept around the back of the building.

For hours, crisis negotiators tried without success to contact the man at the shop, located across the thoroughfare from Fashion Square Mall.

Tyler Sprouse, a body technician at Brown’s, said he heard shots and saw a gunman chasing another man after the auto shop closed at 5:30 pm. He and his manager had stayed late cleaning cars, Sprouse said.

The gunman stumbled, fell to the ground and a pistol tumbled to the pavement, said a man who identified himself as the manager but declined to be named. Sprouse said the manager asked the gunman if he was okay, then tried to shut a bay door. The gunman squeezed in as the door was closing, Sprouse said. The manager then left, locking the door behind him.

“He was thinking quick on his feet,” Sprouse said of his manager.

A bullet pierced a window in the auto shop. “I’m just glad nobody was hurt,” Sprouse said.

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