Suicidal man sniped by police was convicted felon, deputies say - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suicidal man sniped by police was convicted felon, deputies say

Posted: Updated:

6-8-18 UPDATE:

BENTON CITY, WA - On June 7 at about 11:00 a.m., Benton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1000 block on Jonah Lane in Benton City for a suicidal person in a vehicle with a gun.

When deputies arrived, they discovered and confirmed the man had a gun and had gone inside the house, where there were other people inside. Deputies were able to safely get the four people inside out of the house while the homeowner, 49-year-old Ellen Haworth, stayed inside with the man, who deputies learned was a convicted felon and had his gun rights revoked. They tried to encourage Haworth to exit the residence and the man to peacefully surrender, but were unsuccessful.

Local on-duty Tri-Cities Regional SWAT team members responded to assist to include trained crisis negotiators, who made contact with Haworth and the man by phone. They learned Haworth was not free to leave, and the man had the gun pointed at Haworth and she was pleading with him to let her go. For just over an hour the man repeatedly threatened his own life and Haworth's, and crisis negotiators made every attempt to get the man to release Haworth and to peacefully surrender, but the man was irrational and continued to keep Haworth in immediate danger.

A Tri City Regional SWAT Team precision marksman, Tom Groom of the Pasco Police Department, was positioned so he could see the room Haworth and the man were in. Knowing the man had the means, opportunity, and had repeatedly expressed the desire to kill Haworth, Groom fired a single round which stopped the imminent threat to Haworth. After attempted life-saving measures, the man was declared dead at the scene.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) took over the ensuing investigation.

The man has a history of both misdemeanor and felony assaults and he has been violent towards law enforcement in the past. His name will be released after the immediate family is notified.

Officer Groom is a three-year veteran with the Pasco Police Department and had been on the Tri-Cities Regional SWAT team for one and a half years.

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6-8-18 UPDATE:

BENTON CITY, WA (AP) - Authorities say a Pasco police officer shot and killed a man who refused to release a hostage during a standoff at a Benton City home.

Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher says the 50-year-old suspect was from West Richland. Authorities have not yet released the man's name.

Hatcher says officers were responding to a call of a suicidal man at the home on Thursday. It turned into a hostage situation after the man refused to let a woman out of the home.

Officers spent several hours talking with the man, who was holding the woman at gunpoint. Members of the Tri-City Regional SWAT team eventually stormed inside.

Pasco Police Sgt. Scott Warren says the officer that was involved in the shooting was also a member of the SWAT team.

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6-7-18 UPDATE:

BENTON CITY, WA - A hostage situation turned deadly in Benton City today.

At 11 a.m this morning, Benton County Sheriffs were dispatched to a home on the corner of Jonah Lane and 11th street, for a possible suicide.

The call initially came in as a potentially suicidal man, but quickly that man went inside the home where the scene turned into a hostage situation.

"It came in from crisis, it said that they had an individual potentially inside of a car with a gun," said Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher. "As we were talking to her [the woman inside the home], we could hear her saying 'don't point the gun at me.'" 

It was clear to officers outside the home that this woman was in obvious danger, so multiple agencies responding shortly after that 11 a.m call, including Try-City Regional SWAT and the Richland Bomb Squad. 

"There was a decision to try to get separation between the two of them."

That decision was to put off a flash bomb scare, which the bomb squad initiated around 2:00 p.m this afternoon, and not long after the victim came out safely. Meanwhile...

"The sniper elements on the SWAT team were able to see where he had a clear shot and actually shot the individual," said Sheriff Hatcher.

The suspect did die at the scene inside the home.

Since this is an officer involved shooting, the special investigation unit are taking over this case. 

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6-7-18 ORIGINAL STORY:

BENTON CITY, WA - A man is dead after a standoff and hostage situation in Benton City ended after the suspect was shot by a law enforcement sniper.

Authorities were called out at around 11 a.m. for a suicidal man in a car. The 50-year-old man then went into the house of a friend or girlfriend on Jonah Lane, where he took the occupant - a woman - hostage.

A few hours into the standoff and after the man made several threats towards the woman with a gun, a sniper shot the man around 2:30 p.m. The man is now dead.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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