Subject arrested after Devon Lane barricade charged with felonies

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- UPDATE (11:20 a.m., Nov. 16):

Image of SWAT teams responding at Devon Lane in Harrisonburg - Photo submitted to WHSV by an anonymous viewer

The Harrisonburg Police Department has identified the man arrested on Tuesday afternoon after an hours-long barricade situation at an apartment in The Harrison on Devon Lane.

Maxim M. Nikitin, 21, faces charges for grand larceny, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, brandishing a firearm, and assault and battery.

In addition, Nikitin was served outstanding warrants for crimes that took place over the weekend, including charges for grand
larceny, breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, and attempt to commit non-capital offense.

On Saturday, November 12, Nikitin allegedly broke into a residence in the 1000 block of North Main Street and on Sunday, November 13, he took money from a taxi cab driver in the 1100 block of Devon Lane.

Harrisonburg's Major Crimes Unit continues investigating his involvement in other crimes in the Harrisonburg area and additional charges are pending.

Through the investigation, it was determined that Nikitin was an acquaintance with individuals who resided in the apartment in the 1100 block of Devon Lane, but he himself had no permanent fixed address.

“It was through the partnerships with all agencies involved in yesterday’s incident, that the situation ended safely,” explained HPD Lieutenant Kurt Boshart. “We greatly appreciate the assistance from those agencies, along with the cooperation from the residents in the area.”

You can learn more about the barricade situation which occurred on Tuesday by scrolling below. Pictures and live tweets from the scene are at the bottom.

Anyone with additional information related to these incidents are asked to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 540-437-2640. Those who may have information and wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.):

Detectives continue working to investigate the circumstances leading up to Tuesday's barricade incident, and charges are pending against the man taken into custody for his involvement in other violent crimes in Harrisonburg.

This is how the Harrisonburg Police Department describes what happened:

"Around 8:30 a.m. a call for service was received for the 1100 block of Devon Lane for a disturbance involving a firearm. An individual reported that a male pointed a gun at him and then the male went back inside an apartment.

Upon arrival, HPD officers surrounded the apartment complex and began collecting information and working to evacuate residents closest to the apartment where the male fled inside. Other residents not as close but in the same vicinity were asked to shelter in place or leave the area.

Information was received that there was a second male inside the apartment. Just before 1:00 p.m. the second male came out of the apartment without injury or incident and it was confirmed that he was not being held against his will.

Around 2:15 p.m., the male suspect was taken into custody without incident."

The Harrisonburg Police Department was not the only agency to respond, however. They had help from the Virginia State Police, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, James Madison University Police Department, Harrisonburg Fire Department, and the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad.

Students who live in the area say they were shocked when they heard the news.

Nathan Garber, a student who lives nearby, said of the JMU alert sent this morning: "It said stay clear of the area so that makes me kind of curious of what's going on if it's that dangerous."

Garber added he never expected anything like this, "But nothing at school at JMU, it's just weird. I'd understand if it was in the town and stuff but this is all mostly student housing and everything."

In-depth updates from throughout the barricade situation can be found below, in addition to tweets and up-close photos.


UPDATE (2:28 p.m.):

According to Katie Caler, WHSV's reporter on scene, a subject has now been taken into custody without incident, and with no injuries to any officers involved.

Police ask those who live in the area to still avoid the scene as crews begin to clear up.

The standoff situation began around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and lasted until about 2:30 p.m.

Images submitted to WHSV can be seen in a slideshow at the bottom of this article, below Twitter updates from Katie Caler.

Previous updates can be found right below, and we will provide more details on the situation as we learn them.

UPDATE (1:10 p.m.):

According to Sgt. Tyler on-scene in the 1100 block of Devon Lane in Harrisonburg, one man who was in the apartment at the start of the barricade situation has come out of the building.

That man was not held against his will, and one person - not a JMU student - remains in the apartment. Police are working to establish communication with that person in an attempt to resolve the situation.

UPDATE (11:50 a.m.):

Police have confirmed to WHSV that the person barricaded in an apartment on Devon Lane is not a JMU student.

SWAT teams are currently approaching the apartment in full tactical gear. WHSV has received several pictures of the police response, but is withholding those until the situation is resolved, in order to protect the safety of officers responding.

UPDATE (10:29 a.m.):

A student tells WHSV that he received a text from a friend this morning saying that a man ran up to a girl's car around 8:30 a.m. and said he was being robbed by men with guns and that they were going to "kill his roommate."

Harrisonburg Police received a call shortly after this, and immediately responded to the scene.

The student says he never expected anything like this to happen in Harrisonburg.

On scene, the Rockingham County SWAT team has arrived to the 1100 block of Devon Lane and begun staging in the area. A perimeter was established earlier this morning by the Harrisonburg Police Department, and all surrounding apartments have been safely evacuated.

Police believe at least one individual is barricaded in an apartment, although it is unclear if there are any weapons involved.

Agencies responding to the scene include the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, VSP SWAT, RCSO SWAT, HPD, VSP troopers and the Harrisonburg Fire Department command center.

JMU students received an alert about the situation shortly after 9 a.m. A number of students live in apartments along Devon Lane, which is just off of Port Republic Road behind Sentara Park.

WHSV will provide updates here as soon as we learn more.


ORIGINAL STORY (9:59 a.m.):

Officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department are in a standoff situation with what they tell WHSV is a person barricaded in an apartment.

A call came in around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning regarding an apartment in the 1100 block of Devon Lane. Police have evacuated residents from all surrounding apartments and called in Rockingham County's SWAT team to respond to the scene.

According to officers on scene, they cannot confirm if the person barricaded in the apartment has any weapons, but they are treating the situation as if the individual does.

A perimeter has been established around the area, as members of the Harrisonburg Police Department (with K9s), Virginia State Police, and the Harrisonburg Fire Department work to keep the scene under control while awaiting the SWAT team's arrival.

Part of Harrisonburg's SWAT team is in Florida at a competition, which is why Rockingham County SWAT was called in.

WHSV's Katie Caler is on scene, and will continue to provide updates. You can follow her on Twitter to see the latest.

Photo submitted to WHSV by a viewer on-scene at The Harrison