NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team forced a wanted man from a motel room on Tuesday afternoon, ending a standoff that lasted for hours and shut down U.S. 19.
The sheriff’s office had issued an arrest warrant for felon Michael Putnam on October 18. Putnam was wanted for attempted homicide and felon in possession of a firearm, after deputies say he shot a woman in the arm. Deputies said Putnam was armed and dangerous and warned the public to use extreme caution.
Then, on Monday morning, deputies learned that Putnam was at the motel.
“The suspect wanted a police shootout and stated that this would be his last day on earth,” said a sheriff’s office spokesperson about Putnam, who had holed himself up in a room at the Rodeway Inn located at 6826 U.S. 19 N. in New Port Richey.
Deputies evacuated the motel and the sheriff’s office asked people to stay away from the area. A stretch of U.S. 19 near the motel was also closed as deputies negotiated with Putnam who had barricaded himself inside a motel room.
WFLA News Channel 8 helicopter Eagle 8 flew over the scene and monitored the situation from above.
Around 1:45 p.m., the SWAT team began trying to force the man from the room. The SWAT team could be seen ramming the window of a motel room on the bottom floor. They then threw tear gas inside the broken window. Shortly afterward, the barricaded men jumped out the window and was taken into custody. The shirtless man appeared to be uninjured. He was escorted to a waiting ambulance and was then taken away from the scene in the ambulance.
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