A 43-year-old rural St. Francois County man was taken into custody Thursday night after an armed standoff that lasted approximately 45 minutes at a residence on Route V, according to Sheriff Dan Bullock.
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the residence in the southwestern corner of the county at about 8:45 p.m. after a report of a disturbance involving a man who was flourishing a gun. The caller told a dispatcher at the County Joint Communications Center the man was on the front porch of the residence with a shotgun.
Several deputies were sent to the scene because of the “weapon involved” nature of the call. Their response was complicated when dispatchers received an unrelated call of a possible fight involving more than a dozen people outside a business in Doe Run.
With one of the deputies diverted to the fight call, dispatchers quickly arranged for additional backup from officers of the Highway Patrol at the scene of the disturbance call.
When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the residence on Route V, Bullock said, the armed man went into the house. The man told deputies he would kill any officer who attempted to enter the house. Three deputies who were the first on the scene were joined by two members of the Highway Patrol. They took up positions outside the house and tried talking to the man inside.
After about 30 minutes, Deputy Clyde Anderson convinced the man to allow him into the house to discuss the situation. The deputy talked to the still armed man for several minutes, keeping other officers and dispatchers informed of his status during the negotiation.
Anderson was able to convince the man to put the shotgun down and surrender after about 15 minutes of talking in the residence. The man was then taken into custody and placed in the St. Francois County Jail at Farmington. The sheriff said there were not shots fired and no one was injured in the incident.
Bullock said his department has been called to the residence on Route V on several occasions in the past for domestic disturbances involving the man who was arrested. He said he does not know the situation that set off the incident Thursday night, but added the man was “highly intoxicated.”
The sheriff as well as Lt. Greg Armstrong and Cpl. Randy Tate were also called out and went to the scene after it was determined that an armed standoff in progress. As a safety precaution, a unit from the County Ambulance District was also staged at an intersection near the incident in case it was needed to respond in a hurry. The unit was not needed.
Detailed reports of the incident are being prepared by the officers involved, the sheriff indicated, and will be reviewed to determine what action will be taken. He said the reports will be submitted to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where a determination will be made as to what charges will be filed.
While officers were dealing with the situation on Route V, another deputy and two officers of the Farmington Police Department responded to the call of the fight at Doe Run. The Farmington officers responded as part of the mutual aid agreement that exists among most law enforcement units.
Sources said the crowd dispersed by the time officers arrived at the fight call and there were no arrests and no confrontation with the authorities.