Armed standoff in Park City ends peacefully

04/25/2014 6:03 PM

08/08/2014 10:23 AM

An armed man who barricaded himself inside his Park City home and engaged law enforcement in a more than three-hour standoff Friday surrendered peacefully and will undergo a mental evaluation, Park City Police Chief Phil Bostian said.

Members of a SWAT team had surrounded the home at 6330 N. Ulysses and were sending a robot with a speaker attached through the front yard in an attempt to communicate with the man when he stepped calmly outside about 7:45 p.m., Bostian said at the scene. Within moments, law enforcement blocking the surrounding streets with their cars allowed a fire rescue truck and an ambulance to pull into the neighborhood.

Bostian said officers walked the man, 48, to the ambulance, where he was taken away for the mental evaluation. He said he could not divulge details about why the man barricaded himself inside the house, citing privacy concerns. He said the reason appeared to be “medical in nature.”

Residents in a two-block radius of the address were urged to stay indoors or stay away while the standoff was in progress. They were told to continue hunkering down even after the man surrendered. Bostian said a report of possible explosives in the house given to police by the man’s family prompted the call for additional caution.

A bomb squad from Wichita and other explosives disposal technicians searched the house into the night Friday.

Nothing had been found by 9:30 p.m.

“We’re not going to keep things closed down any longer than we have to,” Bostian said of keeping residents away. But he said, “We want to make sure the area is safe before people come home.”

A disturbance inside the home shortly before 4 p.m. Friday eventually led to the standoff, Bostian said. The man who lives there allegedly grabbed a gun and fired two rounds at the front door and one at the ceiling while his wife was inside, the chief said.

The woman escaped unharmed. Someone called 911. When officers arrived the man refused to come out, but “he yelled at officers at one point,” Bostian said.

Not long afterward, police radioed for backup. By 5:45 p.m., an armed and camouflaged SWAT squad began approaching a home in the residential neighborhood, just north of 61st Street North and east of Hydraulic. Patrols cars marked with Park City police, Wichita police and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office logos lined the streets.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers blocked entrances leading into the neighborhoods. Vehicles were turned away. Some people heeded law enforcement’s suggestions to stay inside. Other sat in lawn chairs or on decks, watching the evening unfold.

“It came down to trying to communicate with him,” Bostian said of the man’s surrender.

An initial investigation indicates the man “wasn’t trying to shoot anyone,” he said. No one was hurt.

Bostian said authorities would consult with Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett’s office next week to determine whether any charges would be filed against the man.

He was booked into Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling Friday evening, online jail records show. His name had not been released by police.

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