(Photo courtesy of Maumelle police)
After a brief standoff with Maumelle police, a teenage gunman surrendered Tuesday afternoon without incident.
Maumelle police Chief Sam Williams said the incident ended in the best possible fashion — none of his officers were hurt and they didn’t have to hurt anyone.
The incident started about 1 a.m. when Brian Metcalf, 16, of Atkins, a juvenile patient at the Methodist Behavioral Hospital at 1601 Murphy Drive, escaped the facility.
Williams said he came back to the hospital at 3 a.m. armed with a handgun to see if any of his friends wanted to leave with him.
Williams said the gun was stolen from an unlocked vehicle at the Windsor Apartments, just across Maumelle Boulevard from the hospital and the Maumelle Police Station. The vehicle apparently was left unlocked, Williams said.
Police were dispatched to 1601 Murphy Drive when staff members at the Maumelle Methodist Behavioral Hospital reported the escaped juvenile. Officers responded and searched the facility and surrounding area, but did not locate the juvenile, Lt. Jim Hansard said.
At 2:51 a.m. the hospital staff reported that the juvenile had returned, “brandishing a handgun.” Hansard said officers responded again and once again searched the facility and the surrounding area and then called in off-duty officers to mount a larger manhunt.
At first police suspected he may have had an accomplice but Williams said that never proved true, and officers believe he just wanted to get out of the hospital.
A Code Red alert went out at 10:34 a.m., warning residents about the gunman on the loose. Hansard identified the juvenile as Brandon Metcalf, 16, of Atkins, described as having blond hair, blue eyes, weighing 125 pounds and standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall.
Police even issued a photo of the teenager so people could recognize him.
Normally the names of juveniles are not released by police unless they are charged as an adult in a crime. But Williams said it was a matter of public safety when you have anyone who has escaped a facility running around town with a gun.
The only person he came close to having any contact with was a jogger early Tuesday morning, Williams said.
When calls started coming in to Maumelle’s 911 center from residents of the Rolling Oaks subdivision, police quickly found Metcalf and a foot chase ensued, ending at 25 Vantage Drive where Metcalf barricaded himself in the back yard, hiding behind a privacy fence.
To protect the public, Williams said, residents of the home where he was hiding and others in a possible line of fire were evacuated while police negotiated with him.
Williams and other officers talked with him and he eventually surrendered.
Metcalf was held briefly at Maumelle police headquarters pending formal charges through the Pulaski County juvenile justice system.
Williams thanked all his officers and Maumelle Fire and Rescue for the professional manner in which they executed the search.
The firefighters were standing by primarily because of the heat, Williams said.
An Arkansas State Police helicopter was used in the search.