Around 7:35am central time, a man identified as Keith Van De Castle, barricaded himself inside of the water aquatics building, H3O Aquatics in Murfreesboro, TN. Reports originally speculated that Van De Castle had a locksmith open the door, then Van De Castle changed the locks, barricaded himself inside, and threatened to burn down the building. However, WGNS News Radio later reported that, “negotiators were able to determine the franchisor had used electrical cords to secure the doors and he allegedly stated that if someone came into the business, it could cause a fire.”
The person who has locked himself in the building is a franchisor of H3O Aquatics, and is currently undergoing a civil dispute with the owner or the building and another franchisee. While the police have found that the man is legally allowed to be on the property, the initial reports of potential violence were taken to with mass police presence, as well as presence of other safety officials. Despite the lack of hostages, the initial police presence caused a six-hour standoff. The standoff ended when further investigation lead to a realization of a complex civil dispute.
Despite the standoff ending, Van De Castle remains inside. The owner of the building is said to need court documents in order to have Van De Castle evicted. Until then, Van De Castle says he will stay in the building until Christmas. For further details, as well as an interview with Van De Castle, watch Fox 17’s report.
A local news crew interview with Van De Castle inside H3O can be seen here.
Meanwhile, H3O Aquatics is keeping people updated on the situation via Facebook.