More details released about 22-hour standoff with police - WNEM TV 5

More details released about 22-hour standoff with police

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Andrew Keller (WNEM) Andrew Keller (WNEM)
James Felton (WNEM) James Felton (WNEM)
Leroi Kocsis. Source: Facebook Leroi Kocsis. Source: Facebook

A 22-hour standoff between a man accused of sex crimes and police ended with the suspect killing himself.

The Bay City Department of Public Safety attempted to conduct a traffic stop at McKinley Street and N. Van Buren Street in an attempt to arrest Leroi Kocsis. The 38-year-old had a warrant out for his arrest for a rape charge, police said.

That's when he fled to his home at 600 N. Sherman. That happened shortly before noon on Feb. 19.

Officers attempted to apprehend Kocsis outside of his home. He gained entry into his house and began firing at the officers with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, police said.

The officer was shot in the back. This resulted in a 22-hour standoff between Kocsis and police.

The officer was taken to McLaren Bay Region and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The injury was described by police as a flesh wound.

"Minor wound, very fortunate that when he was being shot at, he was ducking and getting out his vehicle and that's what prevented him from taking a more serious wound," said Bay City Police Chief Mike Cecchini.

That officer has since been released and is resting at home, according to police.

Friday night, police released CS gas, a type of tear gas, into Kocsis' home in an attempt to draw him out.

Kocsis was posting to his Facebook page during the standoff and claimed he had a gas mask.

CS gas is used for civil disorders and causes a burning sensation to the eyes and skin.

Kocsis told police the only way he would surrender was if he could share his story with TV5. Police contacted TV5 and requested they interview Kocsis.

After being contacted by the police, TV5's Sam Merrill interviewed Kocsis. Part of the interview was aired on TV5's 11 p.m. news.

The last contact police had with Kocsis was when his interview aired. He did not surrender.

"He had said that the police or he would kill himself because he doesn't want to be caged like an animal," said Cheryl Kocsis, the suspect's mother.

She told TV5 reporters she feared the standoff would end with her son dead.

"For whatever reason, he didn't want to be arrested and decided to take his own life, so that's very tragic," Cecchini said.

Police deployed a robot into Leroi Kocsis's home about 9:11 a.m. on Saturday. That is when they found the suspect's body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, police said.

"They deployed a robot and found Mr. Kocsis deceased on the first floor with a gunshot wound to the head," Cecchini said.

During the standoff, Leroi Kocsis told TV5 there were two other people in the house with him. He did not describe them as hostages.

The suspect's ex-girlfriend, Ashley Bernard, said the people were there willingly.

"They told me that they're staying in there by their own will and that they want to be in there," Bernard said.

Police said that was false and there was never any others in the house. Kocsis did, however, have two phones with him which he was using to contact family, friends and even TV5.

"Got some reverberation from the speakerphone making it sound like people were in the house," Cecchini said.

Kocsis was posting on social media throughout the entire event. Including the post below.

The neighborhood bound by Farragut (W), Sheridan (E), Sixth (N) and McKinley (S) was blocked off during the standoff.

>>SLIDESHOW: pictures from the scene<<

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