HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- After nearly 30 hours, evacuated West End neighbors are back in their homes Friday night.
This comes after they were evacuated by police on Thursday afternoon while police officers and a bomb squad investigated a nearby home.
Many neighbors said the whole situation has been bizarre. Friday night, however, they spoke of their gratitude to be back in their homes and for how the situation was handled.
“I think it will be really peaceful and nice. It’s been great community support and fantastic police and presence and it’s made it so easy with such an odd situation,” said evacuated neighbor Beth Silverman.
Silverman is one of the 30 neighbors that police evacuated Thursday night.
Both local and state agencies worked to secure a home on Durwood Crescent after they tried to serve a warrant. Officials served that warrant based on a domestic incident Wednesday at a home five minutes down the road.
Court records show that 52-year-old Michael Hardy allegedly strangled a 21-year-old woman at her home.
Records show the two had been approved to be married weeks prior but had not gone through with it yet.
According to court documents, they served the warrant at the home of Hardy on Crescent Drive. Officials became extremely concerned for their safety and the safety of others in the area. Crews evacuated neighbors and spent the following hours using robots and other tactics to secure the home.
Police at the scene reported that since 2017, they have been called to the house 47 times. 20 of those calls resulted in a police report being filed.
On Friday afternoon, police said the house had been rendered safe.
“We have removed several credible items for EOD matters. This was a credible incident where several packages were removed and we feel like the community and our first responders are safe,” said Lt. Pecka with Henrico Police.
Despite an atypical situation for this neighborhood, those impacted said how the situation was handled by police is how these evacuated neighbors will remember it.
“They were proactive so we were informed. Every time I checked Twitter, I felt like I knew what was happening because an officer called and told me,” said Silverman.
Investigators said they plan to continue to investigate before releasing more information next week. Both Hardy and the 21-year-old woman are in jail facing charges related to the Wednesday incident.