SWAT team stand off at Kennewick apartments - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

SWAT team stand off at Kennewick apartments

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A SWAT team stand off in Kennewick Sunday morning left many people stuck in their apartments for hours.

It all started around eight in the morning. Police responded to a domestic disturbance at the Edison Village Green Apartments on the five hundred block of North Edison Street in Kennewick. That's when it took a turn from a reported assault to an armed threat and the Tri-Cities Regional SWAT Team stepped in.

"It boils down to three words. Oh my gosh," says Judy Johnson who lives in the apartment complex.

She and her neighbors were surprised to wake up to a SWAT team stand off. But Judy wasn't surprised when she found out who caused it all.

Jeffry McGrath got in a physical fight with his girlfriend's son and then told police he wouldn't come out of his apartment and that he had a hand gun.

"I got a statement from him and at that point we tried to negotiate with our subject to come out and he refused to do so. Negotiations were sporadic. He'd talk to us and then he wouldn't talk to us and then he wouldn't talk to us so it was hard to piece together everything that was going through his mind," says Commander Scott Child, Kennewick Police Department.

Judy says the man claimed to have hurt his hip so she helped him out but thought something was strange about him.

"I had volunteered about a month ago to go over and do his dishes up for him and do his laundry and straighten up his apartment. Then I just had this feeling that perhaps Judy that's not a very good thing for you to do so I quit going over there," says Johnson.

When negotiations didn't work to get McGrath out, the SWAT team set off a noise flash diversion device that made a loud boom.

"A lot of times when people hear that going on outside they understand that they need to comply and that's exactly what this did. We didn't have to damage any property or anything but he understood fully that we were here and here to stay. He elected at that time that it'd probably be best to come out," says Child.

McGrath came out in a wheelchair and was taken away in an ambulance to have his health checked and then he took a trip to jail.

McGrath was booked into the Benton County Jail on suspicion of assault in the second degree and felony harassment. The stand off lasted for around five hours until McGrath was taken away.

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