Owner of Madison home in the center of stand-off speaks out - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Owner of Madison home in the center of stand-off speaks out

By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - New details emerge Monday about the 10-hour police stand-off that ended with a Lake Caroline man dead.  The homeowner helped authorities identify where the arsenal of weapons were located in the house and where the shooter, Keith Mitts, was likely hiding out.

Harvey Green only had a business relationship with the Mitts family.  He bought their home last month and was renting it to Mitts while they looked for a new house.  Green had toured the house many times and knew exactly what to warn authorities about.

Green pointed out the military insignia on the SUV that was riddled with bullet holes.  Green said the home that he now owns, Mitts had covered with patriotic symbols.

"(He had) patriotic pictures in his home of President Bush, the American flag," said Green.

On Friday, after an altercation between 46-year-old Mitts and his wife, Irina, at the Pine Grove Behavioral Center in Madison, officers went to the South Hampton Circle home.  Mitts met them with gunfire from a high-powered weapon. 

Officers returned shots, hitting Mitts in the wrist, and he retreated back inside.  Green helped officers get a sense of the property and where Mitts stored his guns.

"I knew the floor plan very well.  I drew them a plan of the house, so they'd know where he might be," said Green.

The weapons which Green said included a grenade launcher and body armor were kept in an office near the garage.  "He had many weapons.  He knew what kind of weapons to buy and how to buy them," said Green.

After firing tear gas into the home without any communication with Mitts, SWAT officers made their move after a 10-hour stand-off.  Mitts was found dead in the bathroom, and the house was on fire. 

"They fired one of the flash bangers in the back window, set fire in the master bedroom, and damaged the master bedroom pretty badly," said Green.

There was smoke damage in the entire home and stinging residue from the tear gas. Homeowner's insurance should cover the damage.  Green has planned on gutting the house completely and eventually moving in. 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is handling the stand-off and death investigation.  Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said he believes Mitts died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  An autopsy has been completed, but results have not been released.

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