An unnamed 53 year old man held Menard County authorities in a 5-hour stand off with a gun on Wednesday. According to a press release from the Menard County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 2:25pm, Menard County Sheriff’s 911 Dispatch received a report of an armed subject in a vehicle, parked in the driveway of a private residence in the Woodland Lakes subdivision east of Petersburg. Menard County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with Petersburg Police Officers, responded to the scene. Before arriving on scene, deputies obtained information that the individual may be suicidal.
According to the police report, initial units arrived on scene and attempted to make contact with the individual from a distance.The subject allegedly would not respond to or acknowledge officers. Deputies and officers began evacuating nearby residents, while other deputies maintained surveillance of the armed subject. Continuous attempts to communicate with the individual were allegedly unsuccessful.
The Sangamon/Menard County Crisis Negotiation Unit and Sangamon County Tactical Response Unit responded to the scene to provide assistance. According to the press release, members of the crisis negotiation unit attempted communication with the subject for several hours, but the individual would not respond. According to officers on the scene, throughout the entire incident, the individual was witnessed making actions which indicated he intended to harm himself with the firearm.
Further information from the press release indicate that at approximately 7:08pm, members of the tactical response unit deployed non-lethal pepper spray rounds into the vehicle. The subject then released the firearm and surrendered to deputies without incident. The 53 year-old male was taken into protective custody and transported to a Springfield hospital for mental health treatment. According to the report, the handgun involved was recovered from the vehicle and found to be loaded.
The Menard County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Petersburg Police Department, Athens Police Department, Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police, Menard County EMS, Petersburg Rural Fire Department, and the Illinois State Police.
Menard County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ben Hollis said: “The sheriff’s office is very grateful for the assistance of these agencies, which helped bring this incident to a peaceful ending. We would also like to thank the community and residents of Woodland Lakes for their patience and cooperation as we worked to resolve this matter.”
No further information about the incident including any potential charges or the name of the individual involved have been released.