East Alton police officers ducked bullets on a residential street Sunday night, but the short standoff ended peacefully with no one injured.
East Alton Police Chief Darren Carlton confirmed that officers responded to shots fired in the 400 block of Wood River Avenue at about 10:45 p.m., and when his officers arrived, they got out of their car and were immediately fired upon by a man standing in his doorway.
“As they took cover, they heard several more shots ring out,” Carlton said.
The man was alone in his duplex home, Carlton said, and was apparently not shooting at anyone in particular. “He was just outside shooting,” Carlton said, which alarmed the neighbors that called the police.
East Alton police did not return fire, Carlton said. “They were trying to get to cover, and running and trying to shoot is not good police work,” he said. “You don’t know where those rounds are going to go.”
In fact, several shots hit two houses on the other side of the street. One of those bullets went through a window into a room where a man was sitting at his computer. However, no one was injured, Carlton said.
Police set up a perimeter, and the shots stopped after about five minutes, he said. They called in a tactical team from Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm Systems, and attempted to negotiate with the man for about two hours while they evacuated the surrounding houses, Carlton said.
At that point, they obtained a search warrant and decided to break down the door, Carlton said. But upon hearing them breach the door, the man called the negotiators and agreed to surrender. He was taken into custody at about 3 a.m., Carlton said.
No one was injured among the police or the neighbors, and the arrest was without further incident, he said. “We had good luck on this,” he said.
Carlton did not know if the man was intoxicated or otherwise impaired at the time. He said the man’s name would be released later in the day, once charges have been officially filed against him.
Carlton said officers have been called to that residence in the past, and they were familiar with the man. However, there was nothing pending at the time and there were no outstanding warrants for him, he said.