Man accused in murder taken into custody after SWAT situation in Clayton County

A Stockbridge man suspected in a murder was taken into custody after a SWAT team used a robot and “chemical agents” to coax him out of a house in which he was barricaded. 

Multiple agencies were involved in the arrest of James Blake McAllister, 37, who is accused of killing Steven James Nichols in Henry County, the Clayton County sheriff’s office said in a statement Sunday.

The shooting happened about 7 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 100 block of Wilson Road in Stockbridge, according to Henry County police spokesman Capt. Joey Smith.

Officers found a man with gunshot wounds lying in the driveway of the home, Smith said. Nichols, 32, of Stockbridge, died of his injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital, Smith said. 

Police said McAllister left the scene with a woman in a silver Ford Mustang convertible. 

After detectives in Henry County obtained a warrant accusing McAllister of murder, they received a tip that he was hiding at an address on Silver Maple Drive in Rex. Henry detectives reached out to Clayton County authorities to see if McAllister’s Mustang was at that location. 

When Clayton police officers went to the Rex home, they found the car and saw that the driver’s-side door was slightly open, the sheriff’s office’s statement said. The sheriff’s fugitive squad was then called in to investigate, officials said. 

Squad members surrounded the home and called for McAllister to surrender, the sheriff’s office said. An older couple came out of the house and told authorities that McAllister was inside. The couple also said a woman was with him, the sheriff’s office said. 

Officials said McAllister did not come out after numerous attempts. A SWAT team was assembled to deal with “what had now escalated to a barricaded suspect and possible hostage situation,” the sheriff’s office said. 

When the SWAT team arrived, it sent a robot into the house to locate McAllister, who was locked inside the basement, officials said. 

About 6 a.m., the SWAT team fired “chemical agents” into the basement, and both McAllister and the woman came out of the house, the sheriff’s office said.

McAllister was turned over to Henry County police. 

The woman was not charged, Smith said.

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