‘Armed incident’ on Capital Ave. ends peacefully

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Around eight a.m. this morning, multiple law enforcement agencies were dispatched to Capital Ave. In Penn Township, due to numerous calls about a man walking down the street while carrying a long gun.

Residents in the houses just west of Capital (Ave.) were evacuated, and police were on the other side of the tree line in case the situation took a turn for the worse.

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

“Upon arrival, our officers located the male who was walking northbound on Capital along the roadway close to the sidewalk with a long gun. Without knowing what his intentions were, our officers did try to engage him, at least in conversation. He refused to talk to our officers, so they then called for assistance. Multiple jurisdictions arrived just to determine what, if anything, was going on,” said Sheriff Redman.

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

Police were unable to communicate with the individual but had several negotiators, translators, police social workers, mental health officers, and sign language interpreters on scene.

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

“Here in the State of Indiana, walking down the sidewalk or along the roadway with a long gun is not illegal. He did not do anything illegal at the time, at least that we’re aware of, but we did have obvious concerns from the citizens who called those complaints in, so we were acting on those complaints.”

For situations like this, Redman said that the Sheriff’s Department has many non-lethal devices to apprehend suspects but reiterated that they want to end every situation peacefully.

“But, as I said, I want to reaffirm there was no criminal act. He did not threaten himself, and he did not threaten our law enforcement officers. He was just walking down the side of the road here on Capital when we got the call, so that’s why we initiated the original investigation.”

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

Sheriff Redman stated that the man appears to be no threat to himself or the community but did say that they would keep an eye on the situation.

“We’re going to monitor the person to see where he goes, see what he’s up to. We would love to have communication with him just to see what his intentions were if any. You know, he may have just been simply hunting alongside the roadway, we don’t know.”

UPDATE:

That the man was involved in a separate incident this evening in the 200th block of West LaSalle Ave. and was taken into custody by police.

The suspect’s name is not being released at this time.

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

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