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July 16, 2014

Tense evening standoff ends with man in custody

SEELYVILLE — A tense situation in Limberlost subdivision north of Seelyville  in eastern Vigo County on Wednesday evening ended with a man taken into custody after a standoff in which he barricaded himself in a vehicle and waved an AK-47.

The incident, which began about 6 p.m., started with a domestic disturbance, said Sheriff Greg Ewing. At some point, the suspect made a comment about wanting to kill himself, police said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded, and when the suspect saw police, he drove off and finally came to a stop on a street in the subdivision.

He had an AK-47 and two handguns “and was waving them out the windows,” Ewing said. “I think he was threatening police so we would shoot him. … We stayed back and did not confront him.”

The suspect requested to speak with John Hopper, a Terre Haute police officer he knew from high school. They spoke by cell phone.

Eventually, the suspect surrendered, and police took him to Union Hospital for a mental health evaluation, Ewing said.

He expects the man will be arrested for criminal recklessness with a gun and pointing a firearm.

Subdivision residents were told to remain inside their homes during the standoff, which lasted about two hours. Indiana State Police also responded.

Ewing described the situation as tense. “He was waving an AK-47 around.” Police remained “at a good distance, taking cover around squad cars. I really think in his state of mind, he probably wanted to engage police, but we wouldn’t engage him. We wanted to talk to him” and talk him into surrendering, Ewing said.

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