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Gunman in Georgia standoff wanted on terroristic threat charges in Nebraska

Asia Simone Burns, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA -- A man involved in a standoff with U.S. Marshals and Clayton County police Tuesday was wanted in Nebraska after allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend and shoot up a Walmart, officials said.

Timothy James O'Neil was arrested after the standoff, which lasted more than two hours at a home on Bimini Drive in Forest Park, according to U.S. Marshals spokesman Inspector Eric Heinze.

Law enforcement officials in Lancaster County, Neb., obtained a warrant for O'Neil on terroristic threat charges after he allegedly said he planned to kill his girlfriend and threatened to commit a mass shooting at a Walmart store, Heinze said.

Lancaster officials reached out to the Marshals in Atlanta after receiving information that he might be in the metro area, Heinze said.

After searching for him all night, U.S. Marshals tracked O'Neil to the home in Clayton County, Heinze said. They tried to convince him to come out of the home, but he refused and barricaded himself inside. As officers approached, O'Neil fired shots from the house, police said. During the standoff, O'Neil fired a handgun a total of 10 times, Heinze said.

The U.S. Marshals at the scene fell back and called in the Clayton police SWAT team for assistance. Homes near the site of the standoff were evacuated.

 

The SWAT team released a "chemical irritant" into the house, and O'Neil came out with his hands up, Heinze said. No one was injured, officials said. While the initial call mentioned that the man was holding hostages, U.S. Marshals spokesman Jim Joyner said the man was alone.

It's not clear if O'Neil had the means to commit such a shooting, Heinze said, but he told officials that the weapons he planned to use in the mass shooting were in his car on the property of the Forest Park home. Authorities are working to obtain warrants to search the home and car, Heinze said. The neighborhood where the standoff took place backs up to I-75 in Clayton County and caused major road closures. Police cars blocked all southbound lanes at Tara Boulevard for roughly two hours, but the road reopened just after 3 p.m.

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