HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Neighbors said Wednesday morning brought a sigh of relief after eight hours of fearing the worst.
The Crystal Lake community off of S.C. 544 seemed so peaceful Wednesday afternoon, but Tuesday night, neighbors said it was far from it.
"A policeman came to my door, and he was in a hurry, and he told me, 'Do me a big favor; crank your car and just get out of here because it's going to be really bad," Mike Abdou said.
Abdou, along with about 30 to 40 neighbors, stood by as a SWAT team surrounded a neighbor's home. He worried the situation would end in a shootout.
"You would imagine that it would be a shootout and if he started doing something stupid, they might shoot him and kill him," he said. "We were watching and was hoping nothing bad would happen because it's still a human being no matter what is going on here."
Horry County Police said they responded to the home after a woman said her estranged husband assaulted her with a knife when she returned to get some belongings.
Neighbors were relieved to know she and her two children were not in the home when the standoff started. Instead, they were waiting safely at a local school.
"I went there to check on them because they are my neighbors and they are playing all the time. So it's like a heart-breaking thing," Abdou said.
Neighbors said officers tried everything to get the man out of the home, when finally they had to break the windows, and force their way inside.
"Finally, around 4 o'clock in the morning, they start using the tear gas and loud noises, and tried to ... get into the house and get him out of the house," Abdou said.
Police were able to get the man out of the home. It was the items authorities brought along with him that were alarming for many neighbors.
"With one of the SWAT teams coming out was two rifles," Abdou said.
Though the community may have had heavy eyes after staying up through the night on Tuesday, neighbors found themselves thankful for those who responded, making it safe again for them to return home.
"I think it takes a lot of training and guts and patience. But they did it," Abdou said.