A Hoquiam man is in custody after a seven and a half hour standoff ended when SWAT members rushed the home at 2701 Simpson Avenue and deployed a tazer and bean bag combination this afternoon.
Sgt. Brian Dayton with the Hoquiam Police Department said from the command center of the Critical Response Unit after 2:10 pm Tuesday afternoon “suspect is in custody, through the means of less-than-lethal. Subject was tazed and he was hit with a beanbag. He’s got some minor injuries, from being bean-bagged, but he’s alive and well, and he’s being attented to by paramedics, and will be shortly transported to the PD for further investigation.”
Police were called to the home at 6:20 this morning to the report of gunshots. Deputy Chief Don Wertanen said that they found expended shells and glass near a station wagon parked on the corner of Simpson Avenue and 27th Street.
Police were talking with the man all morning, although he would stop answering a cellphone at times. They were using a loudspeaker to blare annoying sounds as well as Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” at the house while they would ask him by his first name to answer the phone again or come to the door.
Early in the standoff, police believed that an older woman was also inside the home but made contact with her later in the day and confirmed that she was safe somewhere else.
Officers from the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Montesano Police Department, Cosmopolis Police Department, and Washington State Patrol assisted as part of the response or as a division of the Critical Response Unit.
We will have more details as they are released from the Hoquiam Police Department.
A press release from Sgt. Dayton on Friday said “On Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 0621 hours, Hoquiam units were advised of a male firing a weapon in the 2700 block Simpson Avenue. Upon arrival they observed a blue 1980 Volvo with virtually every window shot out.
The investigation revealed a 41-year old Hoquiam male had been living in a makeshift apartment behind 2701 Simpson Avenue; for reasons unknown went outside, shot the windows out of the Volvo, and then returned to his apartment.
Hoquiam patrol officers, along with assistance of officers from the Aberdeen Police Department surrounded the residence and called for additional resources. Nearby residences were evacuated, traffic was detoured off Simpson Avenue (US Highway 101), and the school district and Grays Harbor YMCA were notified. HPD established a Command Post (CP) approximately a block away with an Incident Management Team (IMT) for the duration of the incident.
Officers located spent shotgun casings on the ground.
The Aberdeen Regional Crisis Response Unit (CRU), comprised of officers from the Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, Cosmopolis Police Departments and the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, was activated as they have specialty equipment and training to deal with armed barricaded subjects. The Aberdeen CRU also used their armored vehicle in their attempt to contact and maintain negotiations with the suspect as they attempted to convince him to surrender.
Negotiators spoke to the suspect for several hours; the suspect expressed several demands before he would surrender, to include watching a movie and drinking alcohol.
The CRU team breached the garage door to conduct an entry, but the suspect later picked-up the door to block the view. When the CRU team approached the door again, they came into contact with the suspect. The suspect failed to obey the orders of the officers to show his hands and surrender. CRU officers used less-than-lethal force options to subdue the suspect to bring an end to the 7-hour standoff.
No bystanders or officers were injured; the suspect received only a few minor injuries which were treated at Community Hospital.
The suspect was booked at the Hoquiam City Jail so he could sober-up before an interview with detectives as he was extremely intoxicated.
The next day, he was booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for felony Malicious Mischief in the 2nd degree. Additional charges could include Discharge of a Firearm in the City Limits and Reckless Endangerment as a house across the street behind the car was struck by errant pellets from the shotgun used. The shotgun was recovered from the apartment.