FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) — Fayetteville Police released stunning new information about an officer-involved shooting during a nearly eight-hour standoff last week.

On Wednesday, Police Chief Anthony Kelly said the situation could have been avoided.

Kelly revealed Wednesday that the man killed, Patrick Earl Gatson found a rifle that an officer had cleared in an earlier search.

This all unfolded last Thursday in the 100 block of Sycamore Court.

WATCH WEDNESDAY’S UPDATE ON THE DEADLY STANDOFF

Police said the 32-year-old Gatson barricaded himself in the apartment building, hiding in the attic for eight hours.

Kelly said Wednesday that during the search, an officer found a rifle in an adjacent apartment that belonged to another tenant. That officer cleared the weapon, and put it on the bed.

Gatson then found the rifle and waved it at officers.

Patrick Earl Gatson

“I can’t say what they would have done,” Kelly said. “All I know is if he hadn’t gotten access to that weapon, and been able to chase those officers with that weapon, the outcome would have been different.”

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