Man finds himself caught in middle of standoff with Warner Robins police

bpurser@macon.comDecember 10, 2013 

Christopher Swinney

WARNER ROBINS -- Jason Frady found himself in the middle of a standoff with police Saturday after his friend allegedly argued with a neighbor and fired his gun outside an apartment complex.

Police charged his friend, 31-year-old Christopher Eugene Swinney, a self-employed mechanic, with aggravated assault, pointing a gun at another and reckless conduct.

No one was hurt during the incident in the 300 block of Elberta Road.

“He just lost it,” said Frady, who said Swinney was drinking heavily and finished about half of a large bottle of tequila. “He was screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Shoot me! Kill me! I’m ready to die!’

“I guess just all of his problems got to him,” Frady said.

At 4:13 p.m., several Warner Robins police officers were dispatched to the apartment complex in reference to a possible active shooter, a police report states. The Special Weapons and Tactics unit also was called out.

A woman who witnessed the incident said Swinney butted into a conversation neighbors were having, argued with a woman, got angry and suddenly opened fire. She said 911 was immediately called.

Frady said he was walking up to Swinney’s apartment when he heard a shot fired and realized it was his friend who had fired the shot.

“I was telling him that he couldn’t be doing things like that when the SWAT team arrived,” said Frady, who went inside Swinney’s apartment with him.

Swinney’s girlfriend was also in the apartment, Frady said. He said he didn’t know what to do because his friend was so out of control, and he didn’t know what he might do.

He said Swinney kept telling them not to go outside.

When the hostage negotiator called, Frady said he answered the phone. He recalled being asked how he was doing. He remembered saying, “A lot better before all of this happened.”

Eventually, Swinney allowed him to leave out the back door, where Frady said he was greeted by SWAT team members who ushered him to a safer location. Swinney was eventually taken into custody without additional incident. The standoff lasted about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, Frady said.

Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police, said the woman Swinney argued with told police he fired one round from his gun before fleeing into his apartment. The police report identified the weapon as a handgun.

After Swinney repeatedly refused to come out, the SWAT team had to go in and get him, Pugh said.

Swinney was being held Tuesday without bond at the Houston County jail.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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