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IN- SWAT team standoff in Jeffersonville ends

5-6-2009 Indiana:

Police were trying to execute a warrant at Lafayette Square

A 40-year-old man from Chicago is dead after a standoff with police that lasted several hours at Lafayette Square Apartments in Jeffersonville on Monday night.

The standoff began when police tried to serve a warrant on Charles R. Strohrigl for a parole violation and for failing to register as a violent or sex offender. It ended after Strohrigl apparently took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Jeffersonville Police Department Detective Todd Hollis said.

Hollis said JPD first learned about the warrants and Strohrigl’s possible whereabouts at about 5 p.m.

“We set up a perimeter and contacted him by phone,” Hollis said. “At first he denied who he is, and when we said that we have information and know it’s you, he finally admitted it was him.

“He communicated with our negotiating team about an hour and a half or two hours.”

Police began speaking with Strohrigl at about 7 p.m., Hollis estimated. He said the communication went back and forth, with the suspect saying he would peacefully surrender and then changing his mind.

“He was cooperative and then not cooperative,” Hollis said.

The suspect allegedly even threatened to assault any officer who tried to go near him.

Strohrigl was in a second-floor room of the Lafayette Square Apartments complex, which is off the 1500 block of East 10th Street in Jeffersonville. Police said they had reason to believe the suspect was heavily armed.

Two rounds of tear gas were sent into the apartment. After the first round, all communication with the suspect ended.

As the evening dragged on, the New Albany-Floyd County SWAT team was brought in to relieve the Jeffersonville SWAT team. The Louisville Metro Police Department Bomb Unit’s robot also was brought in to open the door and enter the apartment after police lost communication with the suspect.

After the robot made entry, police officers were able to go into the apartment shortly after midnight, where they found the body.

Hollis said there were never any hostages, and no one was injured other than the suspect. Hollis said the suspect was familiar with the person renting the apartment, but he did not believe charges would be filed against that person.

Strohrigl was last known to be living in Chicago. According to information on his listing on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, he kidnapped or threatened a 9-year-old girl 10 years ago. It also states that he fled the address on record without giving any notice to authorities.

He spent a year and a half in the Indiana Department of Correction from 2000 through 2002 for a criminal confinement charge in Clark County. More recently, he served time in prison for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle after a lifetime driver’s license suspension.

The warrants for his arrest likely were out of Cook County, Ill., Hollis said.

While police handled the standoff situation, many people were left wondering when they would be able to go home.

“We had information of assault-style weapons and ammunition,” Hollis said. “They can go through walls pretty easily, so we evacuated the apartments.”

Dozens of onlookers gathered in a nearby parking lot once authorities blocked entrance to the apartment complex. Some were people who happened to be in the area and wanted to see why there were so many police cars, while others were residents of Lafayette Square who tried to go home but were blocked.

Jennifer Whittaker, who has a 4-year-old son, stood outside in the parking lot just after midnight hoping she could make it home soon to get ready for work the next morning. She had arrived at 7:30 p.m. to find police had already blocked the entrance to the complex.

“It’s a little bit of a hassle, a little bit of nerves,” she said. “You wouldn’t expect something like this to happen in your neighborhood.” ..Source.. by MATT THACKER

IN- Standoff at Jeffersonville, Ind., apartment ends with man's death

5-5-2009 Indiana:

A standoff between police and a man ended early this morning with the man fatally shooting himself inside a Jeffersonville apartment.

Jeffersonville police were attempting to serve warrants to Charles R. Strohrigl, 40, at the Lafayette Square Apartments when he refused to come out, Detective Todd Hollis said.

The incident began about 5 p.m., he said.

Strohrigl was a registered sex offender and the warrants were related to a parole violation and failure to register as a sex offender, Hollis said.

He had a criminal history in Clark County, Northern Indiana and the Chicago area, Hollis said, but the detective did not have specifics early this morning.

Before the standoff ended, Hollis said Strohrigl had weapons and a history of violence, and had threatened to use the weapons. No hostages were taken, and nobody else was injured.

Police had evacuated a portion of the complex of brick, three-story buildings at 1512 E. 10th St. and put the rest on lockdown, with no one allowed to enter or leave. The apartment was not Strohrigl’s, Hollis said, and was rented by someone he knew.

Hollis said officers had contacted Strohrigl by phone and he had originally agreed to come out, then refused and threatened officers.

During an hour and a half of on and off contact, Strohrigl “would go back and forth emotionally” on whether he would come out, Hollis said.

“He made a threat that if any officers came into the apartment he would attack them,” Hollis said.

Tear gas was used about 9 p.m. and officers had some communication with Strohrigl again, then had no more contact with him.

Jeffersonville and New Albany police responded, including SWAT teams, and the Louisville Metro Police bomb squad was requested because that department has a robot that could be sent to the apartment.

A second round of tear gas was fired into the second-floor apartment a little after 11 p.m., and police eventually deployed the robot and found Strohrigl with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a bedroom just after midnight.
When asked if any weapons were found in the apartment, Hollis said police were still investigating.

Marcie Sherrill, of Jeffersonville, who identified herself as a cousin of Strohrigl, said she did not know he was back in town. She said she was told by family members that he had gotten into trouble in Chicago for fraudulently using an ailing relative’s credit card. She said she did not know that he had ever been convicted of any sexual offenses until a family member saw it on television news last night.

“He’s scared to death because he’s on parole,” Sherrill said. “He doesn’t want to go back to prison.”

It was not immediately clear when Sherrill last talked to Strohrigl. She said she wanted try to talk him into coming out of the apartment, but police told her they wouldn’t allow any family to contact him.

“He told me he wasn’t going to live past his 40th birthday, and I’m wondering if this isn’t his way out,” she said before police found Strohrigl’s body.

Stephen Pacey, 42, a resident of the complex, said his wife called him while he was at work at a local hospital and told him about the standoff.

“I just want to go home,” said Pacey, who was standing late last night with a group of other people in a Rally’s parking lot nearby because of the lockdown.

“It’s crazy here all the time, but nothing on this scale,” he said of the complex, which sits behind the Hoosier Travelodge. ..Source.. by Emily Udell

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