Standoff ends with arson, other charges

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Advanced EMS employee rolls Adolph Briggs Jr. into an ambulance after a nearly 3-hour standoff at his Johnson Street home on Tuesday. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News


A suicidal Gulf War veteran battling cancer who initiated a nearly three-hour standoff with law enforcement Tuesday is now facing domestic violence and arson charges.

Adolph Briggs Jr., 37, called area media outlets, including The Star-News, shortly after 9 a.m., stating he was going to kill himself at his home on Johnson Street. During the phone call, Briggs also said he was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, honorably discharged, with three children.

Members of the Andalusia Police Department, the Covington County Incident Response Team and other local agencies immediately responded to the scene and began negotiating with Briggs, who threatened to cause himself bodily harm if officers approached the residence.

The incident started as a domestic dispute between Briggs and his wife that later evolved into a standoff.

For hours, Briggs, who was believed to be armed with a rifle, had set fire to his house but initially refused to leave. Repeated requests of “Come on, man. Talk to me,” by the negotiator could be heard. A short time later, Briggs exited the residence and proceeded to the front porch of the residence.

Just before noon, IRT members made entry and removed Briggs from the residence before he could do harm to himself or others. Briggs suffered from smoke inhalation and was transported to Andalusia Regional Hospital for treatment.

“He never produced a weapon or threatened anyone at the scene,” Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said. “The only threat he made was to harm himself. Now, we can try to get him the help he needs.”

A press release from the APD said the home was severely damaged as a result of the fire, and as a result, Briggs is facing one count each of domestic violence and arson as a result of the incident.

He will be taken into custody once released from the hospital.