BG standoff had the potential to end as a tragedy


"PITTSBURGH (AP) – A 911 call that brought two police officers to a home where they were ambushed,
and where a third was also later killed during a four-hour siege, was precipitated by a fight between
the gunman and his mother over a dog urinating in the house."
When the first officers arrived at the house, the Associated Press story reported that the woman opened
the door and told them to come in and take her son, "unaware he was standing behind her with a
That was on April 4. Just two weeks earlier, an AP story out of Oakland, Calif., reported that a man
pulled over in a routine traffic stop fatally shot two officers and then killed two more in a gunfight
before he also was killed.
And only yesterday in Milwaukee, two officers stopped a bicyclist because he looked suspicious, and he
shot them both multiple times before they had time to react.
According to the AP story, both officers are expected to survive, but one was listed Tuesday night in
critical condition.
Such incidents where officers are shot on "routine" police calls or stops seem to be on the
increase in this year of growing frustrations as more and more families are struggling to deal with job
losses and foreclosures. Violence can just as easily flare at a place of employment or a public office
as it can at a residence, in a car or even on a bicycle.
So it was all the more impressive that a potentially-dangerous, two-hour standoff ended peacefully last
week in a Bowling Green residential neighborhood.
It started with a call about a man acting irrationally outside his residence. When the first officer
arrived on the scene he heard a man yell from inside the house, but more importantly he heard what
sounded like a shotgun round being cycled into the chamber. That set in motion a rapid response of other
officers – including the Wood County Sheriff’s Special Response Team and the BG police division’s crisis
team. Traffic to the area was blocked, residents were evacuated from nearby homes and attempts were made
to communicate with the man inside the house. When officers eventually entered the home they found the
man unconscious on the garage floor.
The officers also found the ingredients for a non-peaceful end to the standoff – two shotguns, a rifle
with a scope and 70 rounds of ammunition, along with a bow and arrows, a knife and a BB gun.
The training and coordination of the local law enforcement agencies paid huge dividends last Wednesday in
protecting nearby residents, as well as the officers themselves.
But despite all their training and the precautions they take, the officers know the potential is always
there for violence to flare when they least expect it – at the next traffic stop or the next call to a
disturbance at a residence.
They need to continually anticipate the worst when responding to those "routine" situations.

Local law enforcement officers deserve praise, and thanks, for a job well done during last week’s
standoff when they kept a potential tragedy from happening.

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