Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

September 10, 2013

Questions persist about standoff death of man, 107

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — When the time came to move 107-year-old Monroe Isadore to a new home, police say he resisted and barricaded himself inside. Authorities tried using a camera to monitor him, along with negotiating tactics, and finally gas to get him to come out.

None of it worked.

So, a SWAT team went inside and was greeted by gunfire, authorities say. The team fired back, and Isadore died.

The weekend confrontation raised a flurry of questions Monday as residents struggled to make sense of how someone known as a pleasant, churchgoing man who was hard of hearing and sometimes carried a cane had died in an explosive confrontation. Did authorities know how old he was? Did they follow proper procedure? Could they have done anything differently?

“It’s just a big puzzle,” said Ivory Perry, who has known Isadore for decades.

The standoff began Saturday, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press. Laurie Barlow, 48, of Lonoke, told officers she had gone to the house where Isadore was living temporarily to help him move to a new home. She said Isadore had previously been excited about the move but that when she arrived Isadore barricaded himself in a room.

“Ms. Barlow stated his granddaughter finally got him to open the door and she went around to speak with Mr. Isadore, at that time she stated Mr. Isadore raised his arm and pointed a gun at her and stated ‘You better stop breaking in to my house,”’ the report said.

After police moved Barlow and the granddaughter across the street, Isadore fired at a door moments after police tried to contact him. A SWAT team, called out when negotiations failed, maneuvered a camera into the house to see how Isadore was armed, then stormed inside after deploying gas and a distraction device, the report said. When Isadore fired, the entry team fired back.

Police Sgt. David DeFoor said Monday that Isadore had been living at the home temporarily, but did not go into more detail. The sergeant also said officers may not have been aware of the man’s age.

“The only thing they knew that I’m aware of was that he was older,” DeFoor said.

Prosecutors are expected to review whether police reacted appropriately.

Crime is not uncommon in this community of about 50,000 people some 45 miles southeast of Little Rock, where prisons house hundreds of inmates and signs caution drivers against picking up hitchhikers.

But in Isadore’s old neighborhood, where he lived until several months ago, friends recalled him as a pleasant and active man. He mowed lawns in his advanced years and kept a vegetable garden, often sharing its bounty.

“I thought he was a good, old guy because he would always talk to us and go to church every Sunday,” said Dwayne Grant, 50. Grant recalled that Isadore tilled the garden himself — though Monday the plot stood empty, as if it yielded no crop this year.

Robert and Ivory Perry said they had known Isadore for more than 20 years.

“Everybody knows Mr. Isadore,” said Robert Perry, 76.

His wife, Ivory Perry, 65, said Isadore had done his own cooking — she recalled neck bones and rice pudding — and talked about religion.

“I just don’t understand how this happened,” she said.

Neither Grant nor the Perrys knew Isadore had access to a gun.

“I believe if somebody had told them that he was a 107-year-old man in that house, even with a gun, I don’t believe they would have laid down fire on him,” Robert Perry said.

And Grant said the violence seemed very out of character for Isadore.

“I couldn’t believe it myself,” he said. “The guy, he was 107 years old. I mean, come on.”

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Mideast Iraq_Rich copy.jpg Iraq elects new president amid attacks

    Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, underscoring the overwhelming challenges facing the divided nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hong Kong Shutdown_Rich copy.jpg Hong Kong firms on edge as blockade looms

    As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Rich copy.jpg UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP00072403324 copy.jpg Today in History for Friday, July 25, 2014

    Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet

    Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll rises as truce effort intensifies

    A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional cease-fire, Israel’s prime minister said he’ll do whatever is necessary to keep Israelis safe from Hamas attacks and the overall Palestinian death toll surpassed 560.

    July 22, 2014

  • AP110722023493 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Western Wildfires_Rich copy.jpg Helpful weather coming to Washington wildfires

    Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are forecast to descend on wildfire-stricken Washington state, helping firefighters battle flames that have been growing unfettered for a week and have covered hundreds of square miles.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History for Monday, July 21, 2014

    Today is Monday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2014. There are 163 days left in the year.

    July 21, 2014

  • James Garner Obit_Rich(1) copy.jpg Film, TV legend James Garner, reluctant hero, dies

    Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety.
    James Garner had a way of widening his eyes while the corner of his mouth sagged ever so slightly. Maybe he would swallow once to further make his point.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results