Standoff ends with man in custody

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis Police Lt. Doug Ford leads stabbing suspect Antoine Brigham, 29, from a house Thursday at 1021 N. Gidding St., where police say they found him hiding in the attic after a 2 1/2 hour standoff. Brigham is accused of stabbing his roommate, Brand Hutchinson, 20, in the house earlier in the day.

Robin Fornoff

A 2 1/2-hour standoff between police and a stabbing suspect holed up in the attic of a Clovis home ended Thursday in the man’s arrest.

Antoine Brigham, 29, is accused of stabbing his roommate, Brand Hutchison, 20, in the house the two shared at 1021 Gidding St. earlier in the morning, then returning later in the afternoon.

Hutchison was taken to Plains Regional Medical Center for treatment of multiple stab wounds and later transferred to a Lubbock hospital where he was in stable condition, police said.

Police were alerted to Brigham’s return to the house by a neighbor who said he saw a man crawling through one of the front windows. Eric Reese said he had just arrived at home for lunch when he saw someone going through the window.

Reese, a Clovis home builder and a former Marine military police officer, said he had talked earlier in the morning with police while they were investigating the stabbing that was reported about 7 a.m.

“So I knew with my MP training,” said Reese, “it’s not a good thing when you see someone crawling into the window of a crime scene.”

Police arrived around noon. Suspecting it was Brigham inside, 10 officers surrounded the house and one began ordering Brigham to surrender. One of the officers carried a shotgun and another was armed with an assault rifle.

When Brigham didn’t respond after repeated shouts from officers, a police dog was stationed at the front door of the home. The dog’s handler then repeatedly shouted warnings, saying the dog would be released and cautioning several times, “He will bite.”

Moments later the dog was released and officers entered only to emerge minutes later without a suspect.

Clovis Capt. Patrick Whitney said once police got inside the house, they suspected Brigham was hiding in the attic because a closet they had inventoried during the morning investigation was in disarray. The closet is the entry into the attic.

Whitney said officers tried flushing Brigham out with a barrage of pepper spray. When Brigham didn’t give up, police summoned the Clovis Fire Department and a truck arrived with a chain saw, an electric saw and a ladder.

Whitney said officers climbed into the attic using the ladder and found Brigham hiding in an area over the living room. Brigham surrendered without a struggle but had what Whitney called apparent minor injuries from the earlier struggle with Hutchison.

Brigham was taken to Plains Regional Medical Center for treatment prior to being booked into Curry County jail.

Brigham was charged with felony aggravated battery on a household member after police said they found Hutchison earlier Thursday morning lying on the front lawn at the house with stab wounds to his back and side.

Whitney said Hutchison told police responding to a “remove subject” call that he and Brigham got into a fight and his roommate stabbed him numerous times in the back and once in the side and then fled out a back door.