After nearly a four hour standoff on Tuesday afternoon, a Miami-Dade County SWAT team entered the home at 660 Quail Avenue in Miami Springs and arrested a man who had refused to come out after he pointed a gun at his uncle.
According to police, the incident began around 11 a.m. on Tuesday when Spencer Deno III stopped by the home to visit his sister. But when Deno drove up, his nephew, 23-year-old William “Billy” Deno stepped out and pointed a handgun at his uncle.
Deno III was startled and drove to the Miami Springs Police Station and reported the incident. Officers went to the home and saw Billy Deno sitting on the front steps with a gun beside him. Police order Deno to surrender but he picked up the gun, stood and went into the home. Police soon learned that no one else was home.
Officers tried to get Deno to put the gun down and surrender but there was no response so Miami-Dade SWAT was called. With area streets blocked off and Miami Springs High School locked down, swarms of police vehicles rushed to the area.
Meanwhile, the Miami Springs rumor mill cranked up in high gear, with frantic input from MSSH students on cell phones. False information was rampant on Facebook and the police department was inundated with calls.
With helicopters flying overhead, several TV stations were live on the scene with the few facts they could gather. Dozens of parents rushed to the area and officers tried to reassure them that students weren’t in danger.
Although the Quail Avenue home was a short block away from the front of the school, across from a playground, there was a slight chance that gunfire from inside of the home could have hit the building. However, armor-wearing police had surrounded the house and were prepared for any contingency.
As time worn on, police were unable to contact Deno so they broke down the front door and sent in a robot with a camera. It spotted Deno in a back room. Police then tried to force the young man out by firing tear gas canisters into every window but that didn’t work.
Around 2:20 p.m. when class was over at Springs High, students were released at the back of the building to be picked up by busses and parents.
A short time later, the situation ended when a SWAT team entered the home and captured Deno. He was shot once in the stomach with a bean-bag that caused a bruise but he was checked out by paramedics who found no other injuries. Deno was charged with aggravated assault but other changes may be added.
Deno III said, “He pointed the gun at me and didn’t say anything. He just had a scary look on his face. He has problems but not drugs. Seven months ago he quit smoking pot. I don’t know what set him off but we have to get help for him. It’s sad for the family but we have to deal with it and help him any way we can.”
When he arrived at the Miami Springs Police Station for questioning, Billy Deno said, “Why am I here?”