Repair work underway at site of Thursday police standoff

VIDEO: Repairs underway at site of deadly police standoff

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Repair crews started cleanup work at Robert Mills Manor off Cromwell Alley Friday, the day after a 10-hour police standoff that ended with the death of the suspect in the attempted murder of a Berkeley County deputy.

Jerome Caldwell, 32, of Mount Pleasant, shot at authorities as he exited an apartment Thursday afternoon. Authorities returned fire, killing Caldwell.

A person from Housing Authority, which in charge of the complex, said HAZMAT was on scene all throughout the morning dealing with damage from the gas cans that were shot into the building.

They estimate the people who live in building eight where the standoff happened won't be able to get in for at least a week.

Meanwhile others in the area are still trying to cope with what happened.

"I was up and down [all night] and my grand-kid had trouble sleeping," Loretta Griffin, who lives across from the building where the standoff happened, said. "It was, like, a scary trip for us."

Police let families back into their homes around 7 p.m. Thursday night, but the images of leaving in the first place are still on the minds of many.

"I opened the door and he asked who all was in the house," Griffin said, referring to an officer. "[He said] you all need to come out for your safety. So he walked us out and told us to go across the street. I asked him what was going on and he said that they had a suspect [for last week's deputy shooting."

Several agencies tried to get Caldwell out of the building Thursday.

A spokesperson with the Charleston Housing Authority said they provided blueprints to the building to assist with the standoff. A SWAT team tried to gas Caldwell out by shooting cans through the window.

Friday crews were on scene assessing damage and trying to repair what could be done from the outside.

"It took all of that for them to really bring him out," Griffin said, looking at the holes in the windows across the way.

The Housing Authority is focused on fixing the apartments. As for the cost, those numbers are still pending. The Housing Authority said it is likely the landlord will cover the damage to the building, but damage to any personal property, like furniture or electronics, would need to be covered by renters insurance.

As for what's next for people in the area, "I'm trying to cope and get my life back together," Griffin said. "I'm hoping and praying I get some sleep."

The families who are displaced from the building where everything happened are being helped out by Housing Authority and the Charleston Police Department. The police department says they are being housed at nearby hotels and provided with food.

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