Image: Standoff
Sherry Brown  /  Tulsa World
Tulsa Police SWAT team officers gather near an armored vehicle during the standoff on Saturday. 
updated 4/15/2007 11:19:44 PM ET 2007-04-16T03:19:44

A murder suspect surrendered to police following a three-hour standoff at an apartment complex that was complicated by a crowd of bystanders who threw rocks at police, authorities said.

After dispersing the crowd, officers negotiated with murder suspect Rico Starks, 18, for several hours before he surrendered at about 12:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday, said Officer Scott Walton.

Walton said police were not sure whether Starks had been armed, since he had been moving from location to location in the evacuated building.

Walton said officers were first called to the scene about 9 p.m. and encountered neighborhood opposition.

“They were met by a large group — over 100 people — that made an effort to assault officers by throwing rocks at their vehicles and the officers themselves,” Walton said. “There were shots fired and the officers had their hands full trying to contain the crowd.”

The officers called in reinforcements to help disperse the crowd. Some of the additional police wore riot gear and carried batons.

Four officers suffered minor injuries — none requiring hospitalization — from thrown rocks and bottles. Tulsa Police Capt. Steve Bayles said that no members of the public were injured.

Dominic Armstrong, a cameraman from television station KOTV, said he was standing next to a vehicle that was hit by gunfire from the crowd.

‘A lot of chaos’
“Early on, there was a lot of chaos, and we didn’t know what we had,” he told the Tulsa World newspaper.

Starks is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 18-year-old Mark Jordan, who was shot Aug. 21 in north Tulsa.

Bayles said it was possible that if the instigators of the disturbance are identified, they could face charges, but that it would be difficult to prove such charges without evidence such as a videotape.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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