SWAT still in standoff with armed man on roof in West Humboldt Park

A SWAT team was still on the scene in West Humboldt Park Friday evening after reports of a man armed with what appeared to be a flamethrower on top of a roof prompted a standoff around 9 a.m.

A Chicago police SWAT vehicle used a battering ram on an alleyway garage door in efforts to breach the building located on the 4100 block of West Chicago Avenue.

The SWAT vehicle then drove up to the front of the building where there was a group of Cook County Sheriff’s police officers. The ram was used to breach the front entrance and the vehicle then returned to the back. It was unclear whether police have made contact with the man on the rooftop.

Eric McNair, an Austin area resident, told reporters at the scene that the man’s behavior had been drawing attention for the last several months.

A Chicago police SWAT vehicle uses a battering ram to confront a suspect in a barricade situation in a building in the 4100 block of West Chicago Avenue on June 2, 2023, in Chicago.

“He’s on a loudspeaker, you know, speaking anti-Semitic things. He’s always playing anti-Semitic music,” McNair said. “This is something they have to deal with on a daily basis.”

On Thursday, community members in West Humboldt Park had shared concerns about the man after he had been prominently displaying a red and yellow swastika sign from scaffolding atop the building, which is near Orr Academy High School.

“This is not safe,” Farrah Walker, coalition secretary of the West Humboldt Park Community Coalition neighborhood group, said Thursday. “People are outraged. People are shocked. People are scared.”

In May 2022, Chicago police responded to a gunshot detection alert near the building where the scaffolding is up when a man on a roof on the same block pointed “an unknown object with a laser” in the direction of a police helicopter, the department said.

Chicago Tribune’s John Kim contributed.

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