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Man in Sunset Heights SWAT situation charged with murder

Dec. 31 Update: El Paso Police have charged a man who barricaded himself in a Sunset Heights home on Wednesday with murder.

He has been identified as 34-year-old Bilal Muhammad of the 200 block of Porfirio Diaz.

Police responded to the home in the 200 block of Porfirio Diaz before noon in reference to shots being fired.

When officers arrived, they saw witnesses exiting the residence that reported the gunshots.

Officers called to the occupants of the home to come out but Muhammad refused to come out of the residence.

At that time, officers called the police SWAT team and Crisis Management Team to assist with a barricaded subject.

After a short standoff, Muhammad surrendered to police without incident.

During the clearing of the home, officers discovered the body of a gunshot victim.

Crimes Against Persons detectives conducted a homicide investigation and have charged Muhammad Murder.

He was booked in the El Paso County Detention facility under a $750,000 bond.

Dec. 30 Update: El Paso Police say one body was found inside the home but they are still trying to determine how the person died.

It was around 11 in the morning Dominic Gunter and his father heard gunshots.

“The guy who lives downstairs says there was cops outside,” Gunter said. “They came out with guns drawn.”

Gunter heard five shots go off before the cops arrived, one after, and another three after that.

“We’re met by witnesses advising us of shots being fired in the area,” said El Paso Police Spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez. “They identified a house. They tried to make contact with the person inside it. The person refused to come out and SWAT officers were called to the scene.”

The entire 200 block of Porfirio Diaz was completely blocked off by police tape, including the back of the homes, meaning residents couldn’t leave their homes for seven hours. Neighbors used those hours to capture up close footage the ABC-7 cameras didn’t have access to, including a look at weapons from inside the home.

“{The weapons} are outside on the porch,” Gunter said. “He walked outside out of the door, holding the M-16 and the semi-automatic handgun, set them down, and then sat down the porch.”

In exclusive video given to ABC-7 by another neighbor, it shows the suspect coming out and talking on the phone before calmly sitting down.

“The officers told us he was high, off his mind, didn’t even know what was going on,” Gunter said.

“We have one suspect in custody right now,” Gomez said.

After the man was taken away in handcuffs, police cleared the house, finding not only a man dead, but two other men who for now they’re calling witnesses.

“That could change during the course of the investigation,” Gomez said.

“This is a pretty safe neighborhood,” Gunter said. “This is the first time anything like this has happened. I don’t know if it was them or the drugs doing it.”

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