A bevy of Leesburg Police officers spent New Year’s night rounding up a 25-year-old man who was wanted on multiple warrants, including attempted murder and weapons charges.
Officers received a tip that Shymiere Montese Howell was at the Birchwood Apartments and quickly surrounded the unit. Members of the department’s SWAT team also responded, along with a K-9 team and the Crime Suppression Unit.
Attempts by a negotiator for more than 20 minutes to elicit Howell’s surrender via telephone and loudspeaker were unsuccessful. So, SWAT team members breached the front door and again gave numerous loudspeaker commands for Howell to exit the residence for his safety, a report says.
After receiving no response, a K-9 team was deployed inside the apartment to initiate a search while other officers removed a bedroom window on the north side of the building. Officers also continued to give loudspeaker commands and further warnings that a K-9 dog had been deployed and Howell would likely be bitten if he failed to surrender.
While conducting the search, officers discovered fresh, pink insulation on the floor and a flip flop under an attic door, which wasn’t property closed. They removed the door and again gave numerous loud verbal commands instructing Howell to make himself known and surrender, but he refused to comply, the report says.
A pole camera was used to safely view the attic space but there were areas that couldn’t be observed with the equipment. The next option was to deploy the K-9 into the attic, however there was a concern that the dog might fall through the ceiling due to his weight. The final and ultimate outcome was to have two officers manually search the remainder of the unseen attic.
During the search, those SWAT officers discovered Howell cowering beneath several layers of blown insulation. They ordered him to crawl toward them and show his hands, but he refused and was quickly tased. Howell then surrendered and was secured and removed from the attic, the report says.
Howell, who lives at 1020 Birchwood Ct. in Leesburg and has been held in the jail eight times since October 2013 on a litany of charges, was briefly checked by medics from Lake EMS and then transported to the Lake County Jail shortly after midnight. He was charged with attempted first-degree homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting without violence and failure to appear in court on a previous charge of larceny/petit theft. He is being held on $139,000 bond and is due in court Jan. 16 and Jan. 27 to answer to the charges.