16 hour standoff in Lake Mills ends peacefully

LAKE MILLS, WI (CBS 58) -- A despondent man threatening to take his own life kept law enforcement officers at bay for almost 16 hours from Friday night into Saturday afternoon.   Fortunately, the situation ended peacefully.

    According to a news release from the Lake Mills Police Department, the standoff began around 9:25 PM Friday when the Jefferson county Dispatch was notified of a post on social media of a man filling his mobile home with natural gas and making threats to end his life.   The mobile home was located along E Lake Street in Lake Mills.

    When Deputies arrived on scene they could smell the odor of natural gas.   The Lake Mills Fire Department was called and able to shut the gas to the trailer off. 

    Sheriff’s department negotiator began speaking to the subject who was believed to be intoxicated.   The man claimed to have a gun and threatened to harm himself and law enforcement officers.  Officers did see the man with what they believed to be a rifle.

    The area eventually was deemed safe from explosion and officers again attempted to contact the subject.   Around 2:20 AM Saturday, the man came out of the residence, got into a vehicle and began to drive around the area, finally returning to his property.    The man disregarded Officers  orders to get on the ground.   Instead he went back inside the property where he continued to make threats.   The man eventually stopped communicating with law enforcement.

    Around 6:40 AM, the man contacted the negotiators asking that the gas be turned back on since he was getting cold.   The negotiators refused and the subject started a fire inside the property.   The Lake Mills Fire Department was called back to the scene, but the man apparently extinguished the fire himself. 

    The residents of nearby properties were evacuated when the man came outside brandishing a rifle and telling officers to leave.

    Two drones from the State of Wisconsin Air Coordination Group were used to monitor the property without endangering officers. 

Around 7:50 AM, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Negotiators again attempted to negotiate with the man.  They spent several hours talking to the subject but he refused to respond.

    The Jefferson County SWAT team was called in and around 12:45 PM three gas canisters were thrown into the residence.   The man exited the front of the property and was then taken into custody without further incident.

    The subject is being held on a mental health hold and various criminal charges will be referred to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

    The scene finally cleared around 1:20 PM Saturday, almost 16 hours after the first call.

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