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Body camera video released in fatal home invasion turned hostage situation

Christopher Neal, 22, was killed after an armed man broke into his family's home in December 2019
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 17:25:19-04

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Police have released body camera video from the night a young father was killed after an armed man broke into his family home.

22-year-old Christopher Neal was watching television with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when a man forced his way in.

"There's a man that came in through my backdoor. He has a gun with him," Neal said in a 911 call made immediately after.

"I've never seen this man in my life."

In the videos obtained by FOX 17, police are arriving on scene as the suspect, 35-year-old William Paul Jones, holds Neal at gunpoint.

Neal's wife and child had already been able to escape the situation to a bedroom on the home's second floor.

On 1 of the 7 body camera videos released, an officer is initially heard providing a brief to others just arriving on scene.

“We got called out here for a home invasion in-progress. Guy forces his way into the house, armed with a handgun. He's locked all the doors. He’s in one of the bedrooms in the back with the male homeowner. The female homeowner and the 2-year-old are up stairs.”

Officers quickly approach the home on Proctor Avenue and enter through the front door. They stop just outside the bedroom Neal is being held inside.

“I'm not coming through the door. i just want to talk about this. Did you hurt anyone in there?,” one of the officers yells to the suspect.

"Don't do it, don't come in here," Williams yells at one point.

Officers tell him several times that they will not enter the room.

"We’re not coming in... William, you stay cool, we’ll stay cool," they say.

The group of officers spend several minutes attempting to negotiate with Neal.

“What can I do to help?," they ask.

"I want to get you out of there without hurting anyone. Without you getting hurt, without Chris getting hurt, without anyone out here getting hurt."

Eventually Williams begins firing his gun towards the officers.

“We have an officer down, shots fired," someone yells as a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer is struck in the arm.

2 other officers were also injured by gunfire that night. All of them survived.

Eventually Jones tries to make a run for it by jumping out a back window. Officers immediately take him into custody.

When police entered the bedroom they found that Jones had shot and killed Neal.

Jones is now facing more than a dozen charges, including for the murder of Christopher Neal. He was recently found competent to stand trial and is expected back in court in August.