West Brownsville standoff ends peacefully

December 17, 2012
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Andy McNeil / Observer-Reporter A state police cruiser sits near the scene of a standoff Monday in West Brownsville.
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Andy McNeil / Observer-Reporter
State police Trooper Stefani Plume addresses reporters Monday at the conclusion of a standoff with an armed man in West Brownsville. Order a Print

WEST BROWNSVILLE – An armed West Brownsville man surrendered peacefully to state police Monday following a soggy standoff in a field behind a recently constructed Walmart store in West Brownsville.

State police Trooper Stefani Plume said 28-year-old John Kerik was involved in an incident Monday morning in Newell, Fayette County, where a rifle or shotgun was taken from a residence. She said Kerik then went to Uniontown and twice attempted to make contact with a woman there. He was located late Monday morning in a field near a wooded area behind the Walmart, which is not yet open for shopping, where he was surrounded by police.

Troopers negotiated with Kerik for several hours in the rain before he surrendered about 3:30 p.m.

Plume said Kerik remained cooperative and wasn’t hostile toward police. Kerik had pointed the gun at his own head at the beginning of the standoff but did not aim it at anyone else, she said.

Plume said Kerik would be committed at an area hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Andy McNeil has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2011 as a general assignment reporter. He covers courts and education, and also serves as a photographer and videographer. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University, The Behrend College, with a degree in English; Duquense University with a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate, and Point Park University with a graduate degree in journalism and mass communication.

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