Hours-long standoff in St. James, Mo. ends with suspect dead


ST. JAMES, Mo. – An armed man barricaded himself inside a home Wednesday kept police at bay in St. James, Missouri for several hours before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.

The incident began around 2 p.m. Neighbors said a man walked out of his home and fired three shots.

Residents contacted St. James Police. When they arrived, more shots were fired from inside the home. We’re not sure if those were meant for officers or if they were fired into the air.

Apparently, no one was injured.

Longtime area residents said the incident is very unusual for this community.

“Twenty-four years and it ain’t never happened. You know what I mean?” Dean Storie said.

The Rolla Police SWAT Team was called out and so were police negotiators. State troopers were also at the scene.

The St. James elementary, middle, and high schools are located about a half-mile from the standoff. They all went on lockdown as a precaution.

“Kind of took me into shock because my kids didn’t get off the bus. I couldn’t get hold of anybody,” said Karen Hersman, whose children attend those schools. “I appreciate the school, honestly, holding the kids and putting them in lockdown cause that way they weren’t in the way of the fire.”

Police spent hours trying to talk to the man but could never get in contact with him.

Around 9:30 p.m., SWAT members entered the residence and found the man dead. He apparently has taken his own life. That may have happened when the second round of shots was heard.

The St. James Police chief did not have a motive or reason for the man’s actions, he said the investigation was ongoing.

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