Posted 8:13 p.m. May 28, 2016. Last updated 10:22 p.m. May 28, 2016.
A standoff between law enforcement officials and an individual who barricaded himself inside a house on Key Street in Hillsboro Saturday evening ended with an arrest and no one hurt.
Lawrence Legg, 32, 113 Key St., was charged with felony inducing panic as well as obstructing official business.
Hillsboro Police Chief Todd Whited said later that police received a call shortly before 6 p.m. of men arguing and gunshots fired.
Whited said three separate neighbors later verified the same information, and police also verified that a gun is routinely kept at the residence, leading police to surround the small white house utilizing the Special Response Team, made up of officers from Hillsboro and Greenfield police departments. The Highland County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene, including Sheriff Donnie Barrera. Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District personnel were also on the scene.
Whited said that numerous attempts were made to contact the individual inside, with no response, other than officers able to detect window blinds being moved.
“He knew we were there,” said Whited.
Police fired the first beanbag shot at 7:31 p.m. Numerous shots could be heard throughout the ordeal, but Whited said the gunfire involved beanbag rounds fired by officers knocking out windows in the home. Pepper spray was also entered into the residence, said the chief. Whited said officers typically prefer to wait longer before attempting entry, but they were concerned that someone might be injured or in danger inside the home.
Later, several more shots were heard even after Legg was brought from the residence as officers continued firing beanbag rounds at windows to gain access. Whited said those rounds were fired because Legg said that another individual was still in the house, which turned out to be untrue.
SR 124 was blocked to traffic where it intersects with U.S. 50 at the former Hillsboro kindergarten building. Key Street was also blocked at its south entry point. Throughout the standoff, officers could be seen shielding themselves with their vehicles with their weapons drawn. Bystanders were watching the action along the streets and parking areas bordering Key Street even as officers frequently ordered them to back away.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., officers could be seen leading away a man in handcuffs, and shortly after that the scene was declared clear. Whited said the standoff involved just one individual inside the home, contrary to earlier reports from witnesses.
Before the standoff ended, a person identifying himself as Levi Turner said he rents the home and the individual inside was his best friend. Turner said his dog was inside the residence and he was worried the animal might be shot. But the dog was safely escorted from the home a short time later.
As the standoff dragged out, an increasing number of bystanders gathered on adjoining streets and parking lots to watch the events, something that concerned Whited. The chief said that when people see an obvious dangerous situation unfold involving officers with weapons drawn they should stay clear since a random shot from inside the house could have easily skipped off pavement and ricocheted to areas where bystanders were gathered.