The Wilson Times

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 12:08 AM

Man surrenders after eight-hour standoff
Police: Man ran into Wilson apartment after firing gun

By Corey Friedman | Times Online Editor

A man who had been holed up in a Wilson apartment surrendered to police early Wednesday after an eight-hour standoff.

Police said 42-year-old Michael Antonio Battle fired a gun and ran inside a Wilson Housing Authority-managed apartment at 313-C Hackney St. shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Battle surrendered around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Two officers led him into the Wilson Police Department's side entrance at 12:43 a.m.

Police closed several cross streets as the Special Response Team worked to bring the accused gunman out safely.

Residents reported gunshots shortly before 4:30 p.m., police spokesman Sgt. John Slaughter said.

Battle has a long conviction history in North Carolina.

"The incident is ongoing, and it is our goal to end this situation safely,” Slaughter said late Tuesday before Battle's arrest.

Police recovered the gun they believe Battle fired, Slaughter said, but officers didn’t know whether he had more weapons inside the locked apartment.

Officers stretched yellow crime-scene tape across intersecting streets to cordon off the area.

A police K-9 handler and dog arrived at 5:33 p.m.

Police weren’t sure at first whether Battle was still inside the apartment, but investigators confirmed his presence shortly before 6 p.m. Minutes later, the police department’s Special Response Team showed up in a cargo van.

Officers instructed the man to come out of the apartment with his hands up. The amplified commands echoed throughout the neighborhood.

"You’re under arrest,” an officer said over a police loudspeaker. "Come outside with your hands up. Do it now.”

Just after 6 p.m., police said the man’s girlfriend was on her way to the home.

Two hours later, police and Wilson Fire/Rescue Services were setting up a unified command center nearby.

Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard and members of the sheriff’s office tactical team joined police, firefighters and paramedics at the command center around 10:30.

Neighbors watched the developments outside the apartment with interest, standing in groups near police lines and speaking loudly about the standoff.

Drivers slowed as they approached the police tape on Pettigrew Street at its intersection with Green Street East.

Battle has an extensive criminal conviction history in Nash, Edgecombe and Hoke counties, according to the N.C. Department of Correction. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbery with a dangerous weapon in Edgecombe County. He was released in February.

In 2003, he was convicted of common law robbery.

In 2001, Battle was convicted of unauthorized use of motor conveyance.

In 1998, he was convicted of larceny and DWI.

In 1996, Battle was convicted of drug paraphernalia use/possession.

In 1993, Battle was convicted of possession of schedule II drugs.

In 1990, he was convicted of escape prison and possession of schedule II drugs

In 1989, Battle was convicted of selling schedule VI drugs.

In 1987, he was convicted of larceny, misdemeanor breaking and entering as well as breaking and entering and larceny.

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