While Hopkins was in the building, police at the intersection of East 21st and North Charles streets used a loudspeaker to urge him to answer a phone ringing on the third floor. They said he could resolve the situation peacefully and offered him medical attention if he needed it.

At 8 a.m., numerous people waited at the perimeter of the scene, unable to get to their homes, jobs, cars and a methadone program on Maryland Avenue.

John King, 71, who said he's lived for 30 years about two blocks north of the standoff scene, said police came to his door about 5 a.m. and told him to stay inside.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.