Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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February 1, 2013

6-hour standoff ends peacefully; subject confined for mental health evaluation

CHEROKEE COUNTY —

A 62-year-old man is in custody at the Cherokee County Jail for mental health evaluation following a six-hour stand-off that began around 8:30 a.m. Friday, according to Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell.

The man's name was not released by the sheriff's department, and no charges have been filed against the man.

According to the sheriff, the stand-off took place at a site on County Road 3212, near the Ironton Community west of Jacksonville on U.S. 79.

The county's mental health officer and a worker from ACCESS – Anderson Cherokee Community Enrichment Services – were accompanied by a sheriff's deputy to perform a health evaluation on the man, who lived in a travel trailer set up on the property behind a relative's residence,” Campbell said.

When they opened the door to the travel trailer, he pointed a shotgun at them, and they backed off, calling for (law enforcement) back up,” he said.

When several officers arrived, they spent about 90 minutes talking to the man through the trailer's windows, to no avail; “he just ignored them,” the sheriff said.

Officers then began shooting rounds of tear gas into the trailer, using an estimated five to seven rounds of the gas over a two- to three-hour period, “giving him time to come out, but he didn't” – instead, “during this time he shot several shots through the window, the roof, the floor of the trailer,” Campbell said.

Law enforcement then contacted the Texas Department of Public Safety, which dispatched a SWAT team from Austin; a special response team from Garland also was contacted for assistance.

About the time the members of the (SRT) showed up, he started hollering that he needed help,” and officers went in to arrest the man after “he threw out his shot out (the travel trailer) and threw his hands up in the air,” the sheriff said. Officers found the shotgun the man was using, as well as a pistol, both loaded, he added.

The call to the SWAT team was canceled, but officers from the local sheriff's department, Cherokee County Constables, the New Summerfield Police Department and the DPS were onsite during the stand-off.

The 62-year-old man did not appear to sustain any injuries, but Chief Deputy Keith Radcliff's knee had been examined because he had twisted it while sending rounds of tear gas into the travel trailer, the sheriff said.

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