Neighbor tries to clean up after deadly standoff


When Merry Van Abkoude, the girlfriend of slain suspect Dennis Hughes, left her apartment with a few personal items, Friday afternoon, she was not in mood to talk. The place where she used to live remains a crime scene -- uninhabitable. That is the case for several tenants at 861 Post.

"This is where the bullets came out and went into the wall," said Joshua Hull, the downstairs neighbor.

The bullet holes and broken plaster in Hull's apartment qualify as collateral damage. The suspect's blood could also be seen running down Hull's outside window. Hull lives a few steps down the fire escape from the apartment where it all took place.

"He set fires inside the apartment and then he ran out to the fire escape and that's where they took him out," said Hull.

The stand-off began when police tracked Hughes to San Francisco after finding his mother, Diane Hughes, dead in Rohnert Park. His girlfriend lived in San Francisco.

Through the open window, we could see evidence of how Hughes barricaded the door with furniture on Wednesday night, and set the bedroom on fire. It, and surrounding units have bullet holes in floors, ceilings, walls, and stairwells.

Hull, among others got into his unit on Friday, but has no idea when it may be livable again.

"I don't know exactly what to do with cleaning the apartment or staying somewhere, or who to talk to, or I don't know," said Hull.

Until Friday, Abkoude was being taken care of by the Red Cross. Her father helped her leave on Friday. She did not say where she is going.

San Francisco police detectives were also back in the apartment. As to what they found, or were looking for, they didn't say. But Rohnert Park police did announce the murder weapon in that case -- a baseball bat.

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