UPDATE: Armed Suspect Barricades Himself at a Melbourne Church After Battering Priest, Suspect Taken Into Custody
By Space Coast Daily // February 21, 2021
Police rush churchgoers out of the building after suspect showed firearm
**UPDATE** Members of the SWAT Team have taken into custody 46-year-old Mark Patrick Soliman from Cocoa after a 3-hour standoff with police.
“The incident was resolved without injury to either Mr. Soliman or members of the agency,” said Lt. Shawn Eising of the Melbourne Police Department.
Detectives are on scene conducting interviews.
Charges against Soliman are pending as police continue their investigation.
Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for updates
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Melbourne Police and a SWAT team are currently on the scene of a suicidal suspect Sunday morning at Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in Melbourne after the suspect battered one of the priests and showed a firearm at police when officers arrived.
The incident happened around 7:45 a.m. at Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church located on 1653 Guava Ave. when a disturbance occurred between church officials and the individual.
“The disturbance turned violent with the suspect battering one of the priests,” said Lt. Shawn Eising of the Melbourne Police Department.
“Officers arrived on scene as the suspect brandished a firearm.”
Police then acted quickly to distract the suspect long enough for the church members to flee the area.
The suspect barricaded himself just outside the front door of the church and threatened suicide, according to police.
A perimeter was established and the suspect has been contained to the entrance of the church.
SWAT team and Crisis Negotiation Unit members are on the scene negotiating with the suspect at this time.
Police are urging people to avoid the area.
Anyone with information about this case are encouraged to contact the Melbourne Police Department at 321- 608-66731.
If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, please call CrimeLine at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477) to speak to a live call taker. You will still be completely anonymous and be eligible for a reward.
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