UCSO ends Elgin standoff peacefully

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer July 05, 2013 12:00 pm
ELGIN — Sheriff deputies and Oregon State Police had a two-hour standoff with a man who had the muzzle of a rife in his mouth Wednesday afternoon.

At about noon Wednesday, a 911 call came in from a man outside Elgin to report that his father had walked away from the house carrying a high-powered rifle. The man had left several suicide notes.

State troopers and Union County Sheriff’s deputies located the subject in a wooded area, but he refused to drop the rifle or cooperate, according to a Union County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Officers engaged in a limited dialogue, but the subject was largely unresponsive, keeping the muzzle of the rifle in his mouth with his thumb on the trigger for much of the standoff. A state trooper with special training in these types of situations was brought to the scene, and the man eventually removed the rifle from his mouth. It was found to be loaded and cocked, with the safety off, according to police.

“People in this highly charged emotional state are often dangerous not only to themselves, but to others as well,” said Sheriff’s Office Capt. Craig Ward. “Each year a number of police officers are killed in similar circumstances by the persons they are trying to help.”

The man was not charged with a crime but was taken to Grande Ronde Hospital for mental evaluation.

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