AUBURN — A Lewiston man surrendered to police at about 10 p.m. Saturday after a standoff at 31 Pine St. that lasted nearly eight hours.

Ronald Briggs, 44, who was armed with a rifle, locked himself in his ex-girlfriend’s home and threatened to fire on officers. No one was injured.

After receiving a 911 call at 2:36 p.m., Auburn police arrived at the scene and evacuated seven apartment buildings within the man’s shooting range. Police closed several nearby streets, including parts of Goff, Oak and Willow streets.  In all, 50 people were evacuated and have since returned to their homes

Briggs was taken into custody after surrendering peacefully. He was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center for an evaluation. He was later taken to the Androscoggin County Jail where he was being held on charges of criminal trespass and terrorizing. Bail was set at $500.

Briggs entered the building of his ex-girlfriend “and threatened to do harm to himself or anybody else,” said Lt. Rick Coron of the Auburn Police Department.

Briggs was alone in the apartment during the standoff, Coron said.

He said Briggs suffered from bipolar disorder and may have stopped taking his medication.

Police said Briggs showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s home threatening to harm himself and to initiate a standoff with police, “possibly suicide by police,” Coron said.

Briggs later communicated with police via a phone in the apartment.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Auburn police with sniper guns blocked nearby streets with yellow tape, barricades and police cars. Several swat team members in white uniforms and helmets could be seen with rifles.  About 30 officers were called in from the Local Police, the Maine State Police Tactical Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team to assist with the incident.

On nearby Hampshire Street, an ambulance was parked and at the ready. About 12 residents stood out in the cold on Pearl Street, watching. Some, who had to leave their homes, said police told them they could go to the police station to get warm.

Fantasia Small, who lives on Oak Street, was among those whose homes were evacuated. She and her children went to a nearby friend’s home.

“I was just sitting by the window when police came to my house and told me we have to leave; there’s a standoff going on,” Small said. “I needed to take my kids and leave. I have a 10-month-old and a 4-year-old. My daughter’s traumatized. We could see their sniper guns.”

Matt Mooar, who lives across from 31 Pine St., described the scene as police arrived. Police surrounded the house and pulled out their guns, he said. “They started clearing out houses.”

Several hours after the evacuation, Stan and Donna LaChance of 28 Pine St. sat in their car parked on Pearl Street. Their car was running to keep them warm.

“I was in bed sleeping. I work nights at Barber Foods,” he said. His wife woke him, saying, “‘We’ve got to leave the building. There are police outside with guns,’” he said. “Our house was in the line of fire, so we had to leave. I grabbed my dogs and cats and we left.”

Donna LaChance was sitting in her kitchen when police knocked on her window and told her to leave. She was surprised and alarmed.

“I’m waiting to go home,” she said from her car.

So was her husband. He wanted to watch football to find out who would be playing the Patriots. “The game’s on,” he said.

Staff writer Brian Klonoski contributed to this report.

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