By Shereen Siewert
UPDATED, 7:45 p.m. — A 35-year-old man is dead following an hours-long standoff on Wausau’s east side.
Wausau Police say they believe the death was a suicide, but have not released the man’s name. A Wausau Police Department news release describes the events leading up to the mans’s death:
March 14, 2018
Police Presence at N. 8th Street / Augusta Avenue
Over the course of the past 24 hours, the Wausau Police Department has been working to make contact with a male residing in the area of N. 8th Street / Augusta Avenue to check on his welfare. This afternoon at approximately 12:05 PM, officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop on this male as he left a home. The male fled from officers in his vehicle. A short pursuit ended at the subject’s residence where he fled on foot into the home. As officers approached the house, they heard a gunshot from within the residence.
Officers set up a perimeter to observe the home from a safe location. Several homes in the area were evacuated for safety. The Marshfield Police Department SWAT team as well as the Wood County SWAT team responded to assist officers (the Marathon County SWAT team was out of the area at the time for training). Once hearing of the incident, Marathon County SWAT operators began to respond and worked with the other SWAT teams to stabilize the scene.
SWAT operators entered the home after a search warrant was obtained and found the subject deceased. Preliminary observations of the scene indicate this is a suicide, but the investigation into this incident will be conducted by the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office. Per state law, this is considered an officer-involved death because officers were in pursuit of the subject when he died. The 35 year old male will not be identified at this time.
The ending of the incident is heartbreaking for this family and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Additionally, we appreciate the assistance of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Marshfield and Wood County SWAT teams who assisted us in bringing this situation to resolution.
Additional details are expected to be released tomorrow.
UPDATED, 5:32 p.m. — Residents and members of the media are awaiting official word on the fate of a man barricaded in a home in the 700 block of Augusta Avenue, after a tense standoff situation that began shortly after noon on Wednesday.
There’s no word on whether the man was holding hostages inside the home. Police say the standoff began after a man made threats to harm himself and others. The suspect’s name has not been released.
More than five hours after the initial response, SWAT team members, negotiators, and officers from multiple area agencies remained outside the home. A bomb sniffing robot was seen edging toward the house just after 4:40 p.m.
Negotiators had reportedly been communicating with the man as recently as 4 p.m., when a bullhorn could be heard by witnesses several blocks from the scene.
As of 5:30 p.m., roadblocks remained in place on Augusta Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. Nearby residents tell Wausau Pilot and Review they are not being allowed back into their homes as the standoff continues.
In a Facebook post, Wausau Police are asking residents to stay away from the area.
“We have an active situation near 8th Street and Augusta Avenue. We need the public to avoid this area until further notice,” the post reads.
Witnesses tell Wausau Pilot and Review they saw officers initially responding to the area at about 12:15 p.m.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.
All photos courtesy of Then & Now Photography. Published with permission.