Hoquiam Standoff: 7 hours later
Originally posted May 24, 2016
A standoff that started at 6:21am spread quickly into the afternoon.
Police first got the call early Tuesday morning of shots fired near Simpson Avenue and 27th Street.
When the first officers arrived on scene, they saw a man holding what looked to be a rifle walk into a home in the 2700 block.
Deputy Chief Don Wertanen explains:
Police from numerous agencies throughout Grays Harbor descended onto the scene, and roads were quickly blocked off.
Officers from Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Montesano, Washington State Patrol, the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, and the regional C.R.U. team were all on scene, as well as other agencies.
The first reports from the scene indicated that the 41 year old man was not alone in his Mother’s home, and that the 70 year old woman was also inside.
Neighboring homes were vacated and residents were moved further and further back. Away from the sight of any rifle the man may have inside.
Negotiations began without any response from inside the home.
Statements about the man inside painted a picture of a man with “a drinking problem” that could account for the lack of any response.
When the search warrant was applied for, it became a waiting game.
When the warrant was issued on the home, hours had already passed for the suspect and the officers on duty. With the idea that the man was not alone in the home, tactical measures were limited.
Using the MRAP armored vehicle and a loudspeaker, orders to come out of the house were sent throughout the neighborhood before the man connected with the officers in charge by phone.
At one point during negotiations, officers tell KXRO that the suspect asked if he could “watch a movie” before he came outside, but made no attempt to come outside.
Officers moved to more abrasive measures once the response from the suspect started to discontinue, using “detraction devices”.
In Hour 7 of the standoff, power had been cut to the home and the mother, previously thought to be inside, was brought in to assist in the negotiations that have all but shut down an entire neighborhood for the majority of a workday.
It wasn’t until 2pm, over 7 hours into the standoff that the 41 year old man exited the home and entered into police custody.