DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb police are explaining how a robbery suspect escaped after a SWAT standoff.
Officers used tear gas to try to force the suspect out early Wednesday morning but he was nowhere to be found when officers entered the Avondale Forest Apartment complex.
William McCleod is a suspect in a violent armed robbery in September 2015 and a person of interest in other crimes, police say.
"He brutally and severely kicked the victim about the head and took his belongings," DeKalb Public Safety director Dr. Cedric Alexander said.
Authorities say the 24-year-old is armed and has made threats via social media against police.
Police say they originally spotted McLeod late Tuesday night, and he ran into one of the apartments. Officers realized there were children inside the apartment at the time. Police rushed in to get the kids.
Alexander says officers then threw tear gas through the apartment's glass sliding door to try to force McLeod out.
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The SWAT team entered, but he was gone.
“There is an opening in the adjacent flooring of the apartment where they felt, at that time, that he may have escaped into,” said Alexander.
Police say McLeod’s sister lives at that apartment. She is being questioned. McLeod's parents were also on the scene waiting for their son to surrender.
Officers are still searching for McLeod and believe he might be somewhere in the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
"We're not taking this lightly -- that is the gravity of this case," Alexander said.
The suspect in the Avondale Forest SWAT standoff is wanted for armed robbery and is a person of interest in other violent crimes.— DeKalb County Police (@DeKalbCountyPD) July 27, 2016
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