Suicide threat leads to armed standoff in Dunklin County

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 ~ Updated 2:39 PM

STEELE, Mo. -- On Monday members of the Kennett Police Department's Strategic Response Team were called to assist the Steele Police Department with an incident involving a man barricading himself in his home, threatening suicide.

According to Steele Police Chief Billy Joe Stanfield, the department was notified that a Steele man was in possession of a firearm, threatening to do harm to himself.

Stanfield said the other family members in the home, in fear for their lives, fled the residence and contacted the police.

Stanfield and his officers responded to the scene and, along with assistance from the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department, Hayti Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol, secured the scene and began to attempt to contact the individual, who refused to speak to police or family members and remained barricaded inside his residence. At that point, Stanfield contacted Lt. Tim Trowbridge, with the Kennett Police Department. Stanfield said approximately 10 minutes later, the department's Strategic Response Team arrived.

During the course of securing the perimeter, Stanfield said the department received an anonymous tip that the suspect was planning on shooting anyone who attempted to enter the house.

Stanfield said he continued to attempt to contact the suspect and was unsuccessful. At that point, the team made the decision to enter the residence.

As members of the team attempted to contact the suspect at the front door, they noticed that the suspect was in the front room and had laid the firearm to his right side, Stanfield said. It was at that time that the decision was made to forcibly enter the residence and secure the suspect.

After a brief struggle, team members were able to safely secure the suspect and the weapon without further incident, Stanfield said.

As officers searched the residence, they found an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, prescription medication and several items of drug paraphernalia, according to the police chief. All of the evidence was photographed and turned over to agents with the Bootheel Drug Task Force.

The individual's name has not been released yet and the Pemiscot County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that no charges had been filed Tuesday morning.

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