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Suicidal standoff driven by post-breakup rage; Man barricaded with firearm Friday faces felony charge

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Firefighters were originally dispatched to a home at the 600 block of Greenbrier Drive in reference to a report of a structure fire, which was called in by a 7-year-old girl. After a man at the residence armed with a handgun told firefighters to leave, the Roswell Police Department was called in, which also included the department’s SWAT team. 29-year-old Nathan Morgan, who is charged with aggravated assault against a family member, among other counts, eventually surrendered to police Friday night. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

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A man who allegedly aimed a gun at his wife’s forehead while threatening to commit suicide Friday evening in south Roswell has been charged with aggravated assault against a household member with a deadly weapon, among other misdemeanor charges.

According to a report by the Roswell Police Department, at 6:16 p.m. Friday, a 7-year-old girl had called 911 from the 600 block of Greenbrier Drive, stating there was a fire in a room and that her parents were stuck in the bedroom.

After the Roswell Fire Department had arrived, they notified dispatch that a man with a gun was inside the residence and telling them to leave.

“The fire department backed out of the residence and left the area to safety,” the report stated. “Roswell Police Department units then responded to this location.”

Detective Basile of the RPD’s Criminal Investigation Division said upon arrival, the home was surrounded by officers.

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Morgan had fired two rounds from the handgun before authorities had arrived, the detective was told by another officer.

Callouts for anyone inside the residence to come out was initiated, Basile said.

Officers were told the children inside the home had been relocated to a neighbor’s house.

“We also learned that there was a male subject inside of the residence with a firearm threatening to kill himself and that his wife is also inside,” Basile stated in the report.

Police said they were able to identify the man threatening to commit suicide as 29-year-old Nathan Morgan after contacting him by telephone.

Police said Morgan’s wife, 28, was released from the residence and came out to officers. Authorities later obtained a statement from her.

“(She) stated her husband, Nathan Morgan, found out this morning that she has been talking to another man,” the detective wrote. “(She) said she had been texting Nathan all day and she was afraid to go home.”

Morgan had convinced his wife he had since calmed down and wanted to talk, Morgan’s wife told police.

As a result, she headed home from work a little after 5:30 p.m., the detective said.

When Morgan’s wife arrived, they both went to the back bedroom to talk, the report stated.

“Nathan told her that she was his wife and she was going to stay with him regardless if she wanted to be with him or not,” the report stated. “(The wife) said she told him that he could not make her do what she did not want to do and that their relationship was over.”

The wife told police that she and her husband were sitting on the floor when Morgan jumped up and “choked” her.

“(The wife) then said he told her he was going to kill her,” the report stated. “(She) said she could not breathe and was gasping for air.”

Morgan then got up and grabbed a gun off a shelf, his wife told authorities.

“He slammed me up against the wall and put it up against my forehead and told me to decide if I wanted to die first or if he wanted to shoot himself first,” Morgan’s wife said in her statement to police.

Morgan’s wife said she called for her daughter, telling her to call 911.

“(Her) daughter was in the other room during this incident,” the report stated. “After her daughter called the police, she told her children to go outside and wait for the police to come.”

Morgan’s wife told police when firefighters arrived, her husband told them to get out.

“(She) said he had the gun pointed at her and he said he was going to kill himself,” the report stated. “(The wife) said Nathan then put the gun to his head and (she) was begging him to put the gun down.”

Police said Morgan refused to come out of the residence.

Morgan’s wife told police her husband was armed with a Glock .45 cal. handgun, but also had many firearms in the residence, including semi-automatic rifles.

According to the report, police continued to have contact with Morgan over the phone, but he still refused to leave.

Another narrative made by the RPD said detective Basile had found enough probable cause to get an arrest warrant for Morgan. Police said the department’s SWAT team was called to the scene and the arrest warrant was served.

Morgan was eventually convinced by phone to exit the residence and surrender to officers, the narrative said.

Morgan is charged with a fourth-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, misdemeanor charges of battery against a household member and resisting arrest, and a petty misdemeanor charge for negligent use of a deadly weapon near a dwelling or building.

Morgan made his first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court Monday.

While a court date has not yet been set, the case is currently assigned to judge K.C. Rogers.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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