Story update: May 25th 2023

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department has released more information about May 24th’s incident on 23rd street, resulting in a barricaded suspect situtation for more than eight hours.

Leavins is in the Okaloosa County Jail with no bond as of this update. 

According to the police report filed by the Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement was called to the home on 1711 23rd Street by a female victim who lives in the home with Leavins. According to the victim, Leavins had been drinking alcohol heavily since last Friday. The woman who lives in the home called Leavins mother to the house to help her de-escalate the confrontation. The confrontation became more violent.

At this point, the victim called 911. At some point in the incident, she told law enforcement Leavins had weapons and ammo – despite being a felon. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office began a barricaded suspect operation.

An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigator received a warrant to search the home for weapons and ammunition, and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SWAT) was activated and sent to the house.

After an all day standoff – Leavins was found in the attic of the home with three rifles, three pistols and several hundred rounds of ammunition.

A search of a vehicle after the fact turned up an additional pistol in the vehicle.

Of course, Leavins is not supposed to have any firearms – due to a felony conviction for fleeing and eluding law enforcement in 2012.

In additions to weapons charges, Leavins faces charges for obstruction the execution of a search warrant and domestic violence charges. 

He also has a long list of previous convictions, dating to 2002. 

Standoff ends in arrest

A man is under arrest Wednesday evening after a nearly 10-hour standoff between Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies at the home of Michael Steven Leavins on 23rd Street in Niceville.

According to deputies, the tense situation started at around 8:45 on Wednesday morning, May 24, as a call about domestic violence. Deputies noted that the two women involved escaped unharmed earlier in the day.

When Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they made a perimeter around the home. Sheriff’s office SWAT team, East Niceville Fire Department, Okaloosa County EMS, and the Niceville Police Department also arrived in support.

A public address system with a recording alerting ‘Steven’ to surrender, as the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office had a warrant for his arrest, played repeatedly throughout the day.

First responders used drones and other aids to scout the property where they believed the suspect was. They added they had to sweep the home, several outbuildings, and a couple of recreational vehicles.

According to neighbors who’d watched the scene throughout the day, the sheriff’s deputies also used tear gas in the incident. Billows of smoke could be seen from the residence as late as 4 pm.

At around 6 pm, the suspect was captured by Okaloosa Sheriff’s Deputies.

“It’s kinda crazy, actually,” said Esteban Ruiz – a neighbor, “I didn’t expect one of the people in my neighborhood to get raided by the police.”

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office dealt with a barricaded suspect May 24th. No deputies were injured in the arrest.

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