Standoff on Fairmount Avenue (1969)

08/13/2012 7:45 AM by

April 5, 1969: John Tucker, Jr., wanted by the police for felonious assault, had barricaded himself inside the home at 2008 Fairmount Avenue and threatened suicide; the house was set on fire with smoke grenades thrown by the police.

From the Danville Register:

Man Under Pursuit By Police Holds Officers At Bay For Some Two Hours

A Richmond man under pursuit by police holed up in another family’s home here Saturday and held off officers for more than two hours with pistol fire and threats to commit suicide. John Tucker Jr., 31, finally threw his pistol out of the house and gave himself up after he was wounded by a policeman’s shot and the house had been set ablaze by tear gas grenades. Tucker was charged on three counts with felonious with a pistol. One charge was in the shooting and wounding of Harvey Moore, also of Richmond, and the other two in assaults on police trying to arrest him.

Det.L.B.Adams said Moore was shot in the leg, not seriously wounded, in what apparently was a domestic argument that ensued when Tucker went to the home of woman on O Street. Patrolman H.E.Harris who was in the area notified other authorities when he saw that Tucker had a woman by the hand who was calling for help.

“Tucker shot at her,” Harris said, “but missed and when I got out of the car he fired at me.”

Tucker then fled. Police said they saw him enter a home on Fairmount Avenue. Alonzo Barnette who lives on the top floor of the house said Tucker knocked on the door of the Barnette apartment.

“He asked me if there was any way I could hide him from the cops”, Mrs Barnette said, “I said no and pushed him out and locked the door.”

Tucker went downstairs where police spotted him. For several hours often pointing the pistol at his head he threatened to kill himself if police entered to arrest him. Police said Tucker shot at police at least three times from the inside of the house. None of the shots hit anyone. The went to the up stairs windows but were told to get away from the windows by officers who then began throwing tear gas grenades into the frame building. A small fire broke out in the home. The residents were evacuated by ladder from upstairs through a bedroom window, Tucker meantime had been wounded by a policeman’s shot. He came out of the house and surrendered meekly. His injuries were not serious.

The house at 2008 Fairmount Avenue burned rather dramatically in 2007 and was the object of an award-winning renovation by Better Housing Coalition in 2009.

The top photo is from the Valentine Richmond History Center Collections Database, and is credited to Don Pennell of Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

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