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Two S.D. standoffs leave one dead, one in custody

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012

VERMILLION (AP) — A Vermillion man is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but his two minor children are safe after a 12-hour standoff with police at a home in the southeastern South Dakota city.

Vermillion Police Chief Matt Betzen tells the Argus Leader that police were called to the home about 1 a.m. Tuesday. The man’s wife called police from another residence after the two had a domestic dispute.

Betzen says negotiators made contact with the man, and he agreed to release the children about 4:30 a.m.

The police chief says the man ended telephone communication with negotiators about 10:30 a.m. He says authorities entered the residence at 1:30 p.m. and found the man dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Man in Marion standoff arrested

A man who led multiple law enforcement agencies on a high-speed, three-county chase before holing up in his grandmother’s southeastern South Dakota home was taken into custody Monday night, a sheriff said.

Turner County Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier said the 32-year-old suspect was arrested at the Marion home and transported to the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls, according to the Argus Leader. SWAT officers shot pepper spray into the house before capturing him, the newspaper reported.

“It was a long day of negotiations and sooner or later, you have to do something,” Nogelmeier said. “Obviously, things changed once he released the hostages and he was in the house alone.”

The man had allowed his grandmother to leave the home Monday morning, but he kept a 15-year-old female relative with him for more than seven hours — until about 4:30 p.m. The teen was released unharmed.

The suspect had told officers he was armed, but it wasn’t immediately clear if a weapon was found at the scene or what charges he could face.

The drama began around 8 p.m. Sunday in Sioux Falls when members of the Division of Criminal Investigations tried to pull over the man on suspicion he absconded parole. Instead of stopping, the suspect floored it, police said. City officers backed off quickly, officials say, because the man was driving erratically and putting other motorists at risk.

But soon after, Lincoln County deputies took over the pursuit, which ended in Marion, a small town of fewer than 1,000 residents about an hour from Sioux Falls.

The deputies lost track of the man and had called off the search. Police received a phone call at 9 a.m. from the suspect’s mother, saying he was hiding out in his grandmother’s home.

For the complete article see the 12-26-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-26-2012 paper.

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