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Update: Sweetwater Police Chief Brian Frieda confirms that 50-year-old Michael Berry was shot and killed by officers after Berry fired shots at them.
Frieda says it was members of the Abilene Police Department's SWAT team that were forced to shoot Berry after the suspect in an early-morning theft opened fire on the officers. Abilene PD was called to help with the situation early Thursday afternoon after Berry brandished a gun in a threatening manner towards Sweetwater officers, according to Frieda.
Officers first cut power to Berry's home in an attempt to lure him out, and when that didn't work, tear gas was deployed into the home. That's when Berry began firing at officers, according to Frieda.
Sweetwater Police, along with several other entities, are reportedly in a standoff with 50-year-old Michael Berry on his property on West Broadway behind the old Midway Drive-in.
According to police, Berry allegedly stole a front end loader from L.R. Sells and Sons Scrap Iron, a business located across the street from his residence and also stole a bulldozer from Washita Valley in Sweetwater about two weeks ago and was arrested for those offenses.
On Wednesday, Berry bailed out of the Nolan County Jail. He had been held on $50,000 bond.
Today at about 1:30 a.m., Berry allegedly stole another front end loader from L.R. Sells and Sons and it was found on Berry's property by police. When police went to Berry's residence, he locked himself in his trailer. Police have been trying to get him out since 11:30 a.m.
An Abilene Police Department armored car and SWAT team have arrived on the scene.
Police say bullets were found in Berry's trailer the last time he was arrested.