“Armed incident” on Capital Avenue ends peacefully

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) – At around 8 a.m. this morning, multiple law enforcement officers were dispatched to Capital Ave. In Penn Township due to multiple calls about a man walking down the street carrying a long gun.

Residents of homes just west of Capital (Ave.) were evacuated, and police were on the other side of the tree line in case the situation escalated.

When officers made contact with the individual, he sat on the side of the road and stood there for a few hours while police determined the best course of action.

“Upon arrival, our officers located the male walking northbound on Capital along the roadway near the sidewalk with a long gun. Without knowing what his intentions were, our officers tried to engage him, at least in conversation. He refused to speak to our agents, so they called for help. Multiple jurisdictions came in just to determine what, if anything, was going on,” Sheriff Redman said.

Using a drone, weapons experts determined that the long gun the man was carrying was an airsoft gun.

Police were unable to contact the individual, but had several negotiators, translators, police social workers, mental health workers and sign language interpreters on site.

Redman wanted to clarify that although the man’s actions were suspicious, no crime had been committed.

“Here in the state of Indiana, walking on the sidewalk or along the roadway with a long gun is not illegal. He didn’t do anything illegal at the time, at least to our knowledge, but we had obvious concerns from the citizens who filed these complaints, so we acted on these complaints.

For situations like this, Redman said the sheriff’s department has plenty of non-lethal devices to apprehend suspects, but reiterated that he wants to end every situation peacefully.

“But, as I said, I want to reaffirm that there was no foul play. He did not threaten himself and he did not threaten our law enforcement officers. He was just walking on the side of the road here on Capital when we got the call, which is why we launched the initial investigation.

Capital Avenue was closed between Day Road and McKinley Avenue for nearly four hours while this situation unfolded.

Sheriff Redman said the man does not appear to be a threat to himself or the community, but said they will keep an eye on the situation.

“We’re going to watch the person to see where they’re going, to see what they’re doing. We would like to have communication with him just to see what his intentions were, if any. You know, maybe he just chased along the road, we don’t know.

UPDATE:

That the man was involved in a separate incident tonight on the 200th block of West LaSalle Ave. and was arrested by the police.

The suspect’s name has not been released at this time.

Stick with 16 news now as we continue to follow this story.

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