North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 18, 2014

Updated: Man charged with holding his mother at gunpoint near Gardendale

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

GARDENDALE — [Due to an incorrect street name supplied by the investigating officer to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and then given to the news media, we erroneously reported that this incident happened in Huffman on Garrett Drive. We have since learned that the incident instead happened just outside the Gardendale city limits on Garrett Road. Our apologies for the error. — Editor]

A man accused of holding his mother hostage inside their home is in jail on five felony charges.

Gardendale Police responded to the house in the 6800 block of Garrett Road, about a mile south of Barber Blvd. and just outside the northern Gardendale city limits, on Sunday afternoon to investigate a domestic violence report.

Chief Deputy Randy Christian said that a neighbor told deputies that Mark Bryon McAvoy, 42, had come to their house with bloody hands, saying that he had killed his mother. The neighbor said McAvoy then went back to his house and barricaded himself inside, along with his mother, who actually was still alive and being held against her will.

Gardendale Police then arrived, and spoke to McAvoy through a window. He told police that he had a weapon and would shoot anyone who tried to come in. Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies then arrived and calmed McAvoy down, getting him to agree to release his mother in exchange for a pack of cigarettes.

Once he got the smokes, though, McAvoy became agitated again and said, "You will have to kill me, but I will kill my mother first." He told deputies he had a gun at his mother's back, and also had two grenades, and was using his mother as a human shield. Meanwhile, a SWAT team was called in.

When law enforcement figured that McAvoy wasn't leaving the house on his own, they deployed tear gas and got the mother away from McAvoy; he then put up a struggle as he was being apprehended.

McAvoy's mother was taken to a hospital for observation, while McAvoy was treated at the scene and then taken to the Jefferson County Jail. He is charged with kidnapping, assault, making a terrorist threat, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. He remains in custody in lieu of $112,000 bond.