It's not how these things are supposed to end. The standoff started at mid-morning off Center Road near Butler Mill Road. The sheriff says an agitated 63-year-old Thomas Adams ran his wife out of the house. She ran to a neighbor's house and called police while he holed up inside with at least one gun. Steve Ludlum tried to talk his brother-in-law out to no avail. Police continued to gather and tighten the perimeter. The State Bureau of Investigation Special Response Team moved in. Ludlam says police made him leave; "They said once they got the perimeter secured they'd come back and get me to get the negotiators in to negotiate with him. The next I heard about ten minutes later, everything broke loose. They shot him down like a dog." Bladen County Sheriff Stephen Bunn says officers had no choice but to open fire on Thomas Adams. "Around five o'clock he came out of the house with a gun. Officers in the woods tried to negotiate with him but instead he shot in the direction and they returned fire, striking him. He was transported to southeastern general hospital." Family members were understandably upset with the fatal outcome. Ludlam says it could have been prevented. "He's not been on his medication for about a week. They just went overboard today. All this was unnecessary." Its handling will be investigated. Crime scene techs started working the area shortly after the standoff had ended.
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