GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police have identified the suspect in an 18-hour standoff that turned deadly in Guilford.

The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Keith Neal, was found dead inside the house.

It ended around 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning with the rescue of a woman who was being held in her house on Fitch Hill Road by a relative who police said was armed with two long guns.

Police said this all started at another home in Guilford on Route 80 around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday when firefighters responded to a call for a structure fire at that home. They were met by the armed man who police said made threatening gestures toward them.

The man drove away before police arrived and went to his relative’s home on Fitch Hill Road, where the woman called to police to tell them he was armed and holding her hostage.

Police brought in a SWAT and crisis negotiation teams.

“At some point, while we were on scene, members of the SWAT team heard a woman yelling in distress,” State police Lt. Alex Giannone said. “Members performed a hostage rescue operation. As a result, the woman was rescued without injury to herself or state police personnel.”

Neal was found dead with a gunshot wound, which investigators said they believe was self-inflicted. The medical examiner’s office will determine the cause and manner of death. The woman rescued from the house was taken to the hospital with no reported injuries, police said.

While it was unclear how the man and woman were related, police said they had a close relationship.

The neighborhood in Guilford was in lockdown for nearly 18 hours. Some neighbors heard several popping sounds, which state police said were diversionary munitions used during the rescue of the woman.

“One of the grandchildren got a little upset with the situation,” said Denis Moogan, who lives a few houses away from where the standoff took place. “She got a bit overcome by it, but her father and mother calmed her down.

Two schools in Guilford, Melissa Jones School and Baldwin Middle School, discontinued outdoor activities after being informed of police activity and all students remained within buildings through the end of the school day, according to the superintendent.

Neither of the schools entered lockdowns at any time. The superintendent said parents of children who live in the area of the police activity were contacted by the bus company or school office staff and alternative arrangements were made for their dismissal.

The Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad is completing the investigation with the assistance of the Guilford Police Department.  

The video below is from a previous News 8 newscast on April 14, 2022.