KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) — A man who police say fired hundreds of rounds at a Kendallville apartment overnight has died after a standoff that lasted nearly 11 hours, Indiana State Police (ISP) confirmed to WANE 15.
Sergeant Brian Walker with ISP said the standoff ended shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday and the suspect was taken into custody. The man died in the ambulance as medics were treating him, ISP said. The Noble County Coroner will release his identity when it is confirmed.
The standoff started around 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Drake Terrace Apartments on the southwest side of Kendallville near State Road 3. The city of Kendallville sent out warnings Wednesday evening telling residents to stay away from the apartment complex due to what ISP described as an active shooter in the area.
The gunfire was first reported to police around 7:30 p.m., and when officers arrived, the suspect started shooting at them from a second-story apartment balcony at 645 Berry Lane, ISP said in a release sent out Thursday.
No one besides the suspect was hurt in the standoff, ISP said.
Residents were found inside the apartment complex during the standoff, and police safely evacuated all but two individuals from the building, according to ISP. The two individuals refused to come out but were described as friendly. ISP warned nearby residents to stay low, avoid windows, and listen to instructions from law enforcement.
According to ISP, the suspect was barricaded inside an apartment and armed with a “high-powered” rifle. During the standoff, shots were fired from both the suspect and authorities. ISP said the suspect fired hundreds of rounds.
“The initial incident was very volatile and violent,” Walker said. “The gunfire and indiscriminate shooting that was going on with a high-powered rifle had a lot of our officers pinned down that were responding and couldn’t get close to the building. That takes time to get more officers here to coordinate a tactical response to be able to pin that person down, barricaded in an apartment, deep within the apartment so it’s hard to see where they’re actually at.”
Authorities used drones in an effort to get a better understanding of the situation. Flash bangs and water hoses were also used in their efforts to get the man to surrender. ISP officers were joined by SWAT and police from Kendallville, Allen County, Auburn, and Fort Wayne, including an air support unit from Fort Wayne Police.
“These things take time and at the same time, we’re trying to evacuate the area and protect innocent bystanders,” Walker said.
At one point, using a loud speaker to communicate, authorities called for the suspect to walk or crawl out of the building with his hands up.
East Noble School Corporation announced schools within its district will be closed Thursday. In a letter sent to families, the superintendent announced school would resume Friday, and counselors would be available at every school for students to talk to.
Crime scene investigators will likely be at the apartment complex all day Thursday, ISP said. Police are clearing and reopening the complex so people who evacuated can return to their homes.