Suspect's name released in Oxford standoff
by Rachael Griffin
rgriffin@annistonstar.com
Dec 28, 2012 | 12561 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police surrounded a west Oxford residence Friday morning. Authorities said a man was barricaded inside a home along Harkin Drive. (Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
Police surrounded a west Oxford residence Friday morning. Authorities said a man was barricaded inside a home along Harkin Drive. (Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
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A man who was barricaded inside a west Oxford home Friday morning is in custody, according to Oxford police. The situation ended peacefully, officers on the scene said.

Police received a call at 3:49 a.m. Friday morning stating Willis Douglas Woodward, 49, was threatening his ex-wife and son at a residence on the 500 block of U.S. 78. The residence belonged to the suspect’s ex-wife, police said.

Police Chief Bill Partridge said Woodward tried to cut his ex-wife with a knife. According to a press release later sent by police, no one was injured. When police arrived, Woodward had left his ex-wife’s home and barricaded himself in his mother’s trailer on Harkins Drive, also on U.S. 78.

“He barricaded himself inside the house and he didn’t want to come out,” Oxford Lt. L.G. Owens said. “Obviously if you get involved in a domestic situation, you’re not going to be able to abuse your family members and just go inside and shut the door. We’re going to do what we have to do.”

Partridge said Woodward's mother was still in the home with him when police arrived. The mother was able to leave the residence and police evacuated several of the trailers surrounding the home where Woodward had barricaded himself.

“He said ‘Y’all just need to take it to the next level, somebody’s going to die today,’” Partridge said.

Oxford’s Emergency Services Unit, Alabama State Troopers, a mobile operations unit and several Oxford police vehicles were at the scene.

After five-and-a-half hours of negotiations and deploying gas into the residence, Partridge said the suspect was peacefully brought into custody.

Partridge said the suspect had a toy gun wrapped in black tape. Before he was in custody, police did not know the gun was a toy and treated it as a real weapon.

Woodward is charged with two counts of domestic violence, according to the press release. As of Friday evening he was being held in the Oxford City Jail. Woodward's bond is set at $2,000 and a court date is scheduled for Feb. 5, the account said.

A neighbor, George Black, said he’s lived in the trailer park for almost two years and when he saw police he thought they were raiding a meth lab. Black, whose trailer was far enough away from the situation that it didn’t require evacuation, said Harkins Drive is usually a quiet place to live.

Black said he didn’t know the people who lived in the trailer in question.

“People just surprise me sometimes,” Black said while shaking his head.

Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.

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