Standoff Shuts Down I-495 in Andover; Police Say Suspect Shot Himself

Massachusetts State Police said Tuesday night the suspect had apparently shot himself while inside the vehicle. There was no immediate update on his condition

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A person with a gun kept police in a standoff that shut down Interstate 495 in Andover for hours Tuesday evening, Massachusetts State Police said.

The person, who has not been identified, appeared to have shot himself and was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital, police said, nearly two hours after the standoff began.

Aerial footage of the scene showed police vehicles blocking traffic near exit 40. Law enforcement officials could be seen with guns drawn, focused on a dark-colored sedan that had pulled off in the median, near Interstate 93 and the Lawrence/Andover line.

Massachusetts State Police confirmed they had patrol and tactical units at the scene and described the situation as "dynamic." The person was barricaded inside a vehicle, according to police. No one else was believed to be inside.

Police didn't immediately say what the person was wanted for or what led to the standoff.

Crisis negotiators were on scene with the goal of resolving the situation peacefully, police said. But later, they announced that the suspect had apparently shot himself while inside the vehicle. There was no immediate update on the person's condition.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741, anytime.

Drivers were warned to avoid the area and to expect an extended closure. Video from the scene showed a lengthy backup behind police vehicles on the highway, with cars at a complete standstill. Several commuters said on social media they had been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour.

"All you see is k-9s and big guns it’s like watching the movie the town," Evelio Cruz wrote on Facebook.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation advised that southbound traffic would be detoured to Exit 100 while northbound would be detoured at I-93. 

The highway remained closed about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Police said shortly after that some lanes had been reopened after the shooting ended the standoff.

At 10:15 p.m., MassDOT said I-495 southbound and area ramps had reopened. The right lane of I-495 northbound is also open for travel, but the left lanes remain closed.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office will investigate the shooting.

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