KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Andrea Young, her fiancé and their five kids were home when they heard police cruisers surrounding their home at the corner of Washington Avenue and Cameron Street.
Officers told them a wanted man was inside.
“They stepped us out of the way — me and my children — and proceeded to do what they were doing,” Young said.
Young did not know it would be the last time they would step foot out of their own home.
“From them doing what they were doing, it went to them ripping my entire house down with them telling me there is nothing they could do about it,” Young said.
Shots were exchanged during the standoff that lasted 16 hours between law enforcement and Alex Rawls.
Once police determined he was not a threat, officers entered the home and found him dead on the second floor.
A neighbor told News 8 that Rawls did not live in that home.
Young’s landlord, Gary Apps, who owns the property, says authorities called him to the scene Monday morning when he was asked to draw maps for officers.
“I’m expecting they’re going to knock in the front door, knock in the back door, something along that line there,” Apps said. “So, I gave them my card and said, ‘Call me if I need to do anything else or know anything else.’ Then at 11 o’clock that night, I watched on TV the pictures of the side of the house having been pushed in. Then the next morning, the house was down.”
During the standoff, the SWAT team rammed the home, destroying it.
Apps also said he was not notified or asked to decide on demolishing the home on Tuesday once the dust settled after the standoff.
“I thought it was a little severe, but I wasn’t there and it wasn’t my call,” Apps said. “It wouldn’t have made a difference, but they still didn’t check with me.”
According to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, the SWAT team on scene made the decision to tear it down. It directed all questions to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.
When asked for a statement, a spokesperson with KDPS told News 8 they are “not going to be able to make that happen today.”
With their home destroyed, Young says she and her family do have a roof over their head, thanks to a generous landlord who saw their situation and stepped in to help. Neighbors checking in on her family and praying for them is reinforcing her decision to still call Kalamazoo home.
“I am over grateful for people who helped. I have people who I have never heard from a day in my life, people who don’t even live here who have reached out to assist and help,” Young said.