Terre Haute man broke through police perimeter, went to Walmart during hours-long standoff

Michael R. Reynolds

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The murder suspect at the center of an hours-long standoff last week broke through the police perimeter and went shopping at Walmart, police tell WTHI.

Michael R. Reynolds, 36, is accused of fatally shooting Amanda Kerns, 40, on March 5 at a home in the 2100 block of Putnam Street. Police say he also shot and critically injured a second person, Ronald Lawrence, at the same location.

Officials believe the shooting was the result of a domestic violence situation.

The shooting led to a 20-hour standoff with dozens of Terre Haute police officers surrounding the home.

However, newly released information by police reveals Reynolds didn’t stay in the home throughout the entirety of the standoff. He broke through the police barrier, and he went shopping at Walmart on South U.S. 41, WTHI reports. Video from the store confirms his visit.

Police tell WTHI he believes Reynolds left the house around 3:30 a.m. through a basement window next to a privacy fence that was out of police view. He bought “general items,” but police would not reveal what exactly he purchased.

“I’m thankful no one else got killed,” Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said. “He could have very easily killed someone else. I’m upset that he got out of that perimeter, absolutely. But I’m more thankful that something else bad didn’t happen.”

Reynolds eventually returned back to the home at the center of the standoff, which Plasse describes as “puzzling.” But the police chief says he’s very thankful he returned.

Reynolds was later shot and killed by state police SWAT officers.

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