Investigation continues following Agawam standoff - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Investigation continues following Agawam standoff

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

We are learning more about what unfolded Monday night in the Feeding Hills section of Agawam as an hours-long police standoff forced residents from their homes and ended with a man taking his own life.

The door to at 74 Brookline Avenue in Agawam is boarded up.  It is there where police said Michael Kerr shot through the door and windows of this home, leading to a six hour standoff before taking his life. 

Just before 5:30 p.m. Monday night, "we saw glass was shattering from the windows," said Linda Moye.

[RELATED: Police: suspect found dead following Agawam armed standoff]

Those who live on Brookline Avenue called police after hearing odd noises

"It sounded like firecrackers.  It didn't sound like gunshots.  It wasn't booming at all," Moye added.

Officers arrived at 74 Brookline Avenue, the home of Michael Kerr.  Police said that he began to shoot out windows and doors of the home, with approximately 20 shots fired in the first hour of what would become a six hour stand-off.

"Officers were in jeopardy when they were there, as well as neighbors," said Agawam Police Chief Eric Gillis.

Brookline and nearby Belvedere Avenues were evacuated and the Mass. State Police Special Tactical Operations Team - or S.T.O.P.Team - arrived at 6 p.m. and for hours, attempted to get in contact with Kerr.

"Michael Kerr, this is State Police.  Answer your cell phone, so we can speak with you," authorities said over a speaker towards the home Monday night.

Gillis said that Kerr never picked up.

"Forty phone calls were made to the individual that went unanswered," Gillis explained.

At one point, tear gas was utilized, forcing our crew and neighbors to shelter in their cars.  A robot was also dispatched into the home.

At 11:30 p.m. Monday, members of S.T.O.P Team went into the home and discovered "the individual inside deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," Gillis said.

"I would see him come out and walk around the cemetery and I know he has some mental health issues, lived alone after his parents died," Moye said.
 
Moye has lived on Brookline Avenue for 20 years and told Western Mass News that Kerr lived at the home with his parents, who have both since passed.  His father served as an Agawam police officer and retired several years ago.

"Very sweet, seemed to be distressed when I was speaking about him...physical health issues as well...very sweet man," Moye added.

Gillis told Western Mass News it was a tough scene inside of the home.

"I did see one firearm.  Based on the other things I saw, there were multiple firearms used during this event," Gillis noted.

Gillis and Agawam Mayor William Sapelli expressed condolences to the Kerr family while praising first responders for no one else being injured.  They said that the focus now on what lead to Monday's standoff.

"We are just going to try and figure out what precipitated this...no call history that something like this would have occurred," Gillis noted.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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