A Mansfield man held police and SWAT teams at bay for 10 hours Thursday, displacing residents at three apartment complexes before surrendering.
Tarrant County officers attempted to serve Mark Mercer, 49, with multiple outstanding warrants at approximately 10 a.m. when Mercer drew a gun, said Mansfield police officer Sonia Brannen.
“Tarrant County backed out of the apartment and contacted us,” Brannen said.
Mansfield police locked down Mercer’s apartment complex, The Landing in Mansfield, as well as two adjacent complexes, Towne Crossing Apartments and Cedar Point Town Homes, telling residents to stay inside and not allowing residents who had already left back into the area. Police also blocked the 1700 block of Towne Crossing Boulevard behind the Target store.
SWAT teams from Mansfield and Arlington, plus Mansfield’s K-9 unit, took Mercer into custody at approximately 8 p.m., Brannen said. Mercer sustained minor injuries and was transferred to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was treated and released into police custody, Brannen said.
Mercer is being held in the Tarrant County Jail on warrants for assault with bodily injury, injury to a child or elderly, DWI, evading arrest and contempt of court. Bail has not been set.
Mansfield police spent Thursday in negotiation with the suspect. Just before 6 p.m., a pair loud blasts were heard coming from inside the complex when Mansfield’s SWAT team breached the suspect’s barricaded door.
Mansfield ISD school district suspended bus service to the three complexes on Thursday afternoon. Students at Legacy High School, Linda Jobe Middle School, Donna Shepard Intermediate, Alice Ponder and Mary Jo Sheppard elementaries who live in the apartments were held at their schools until their parents could pick them up.
Carmen Duran, who has lived at The Landing for the past two years, was told not to come into the complex.
“I called the office and they said ‘You can’t go in because it’s dangerous,’” said Duran, who had spent the day at local stores since she couldn’t go home. “I don’t know what to do.”
Other residents grew frustrated after spending most of the day parked along Towne Crossing Boulevard waiting for police to let them return to their apartments.
Kelsey Boggess, who lives next door at Cedar Point Town Homes, said she heard police arrive about 9:30 a.m.
“We heard that he’s armed with a lot of guns and won’t come out,” Boggess said.
Residents at Cedar Point Town Homes were allowed into their complex about 6 p.m., while residents at The Landing and Towne Crossing were let back into their apartments about 8 p.m.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451