ROCKFORD — A Rockford man kept law enforcement officials at bay for several hours before finally surrendering Saturday morning.
At 6:31 a.m. Saturday, Mercer County dispatchers received a phone call reporting shots had been fired at 310 N. Franklin St., Rockford. Deputies and Rockford Police Chief Paul May responded to the scene. Investigators determined Thurman Whitted Jr., 58, of Bridge Street, and his girlfriend were engaged in a domestic dispute, when Whitted entered the bedroom and allegedly fired one round from a handgun.
Whitted was alone in the bedroom at that time. Whitted’s girlfriend and her adult daughter then fled the residence and called the sheriff’s office. Whitted reportedly had a .45 caliber handgun and rifles in the residence.
Law enforcement then surrounded the residence and attempted to make contact with Whitted.
Whitted’s girlfriend told investigators that he had pulled the land line phone out of the wall in the residence, but he did have two cell phones. Law enforcement made several attempts to contact Whitted, but he did not respond.
Deputies then tried to make contact by the public address system from the cruisers and by operating their sirens and air horns. Again, Whitted did not respond. A family member was contacted and was unable to make contact also.
The sheriff’s office then requested assistance from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.
While the SWAT team was on its way, additional attempts to contact Whitted were unsuccessful.
Once the SWAT team arrived and was briefed, members approached the house to attempt to contact Whitted. At 11:05 a.m., a family member was finally successful at contacting Whitted. At that point, Whitted agreed to surrender and exit the residence.
Whitted exited the residence, but refused to comply with orders to keep his hands up and in view.
When Whitted started to put his hands down near his pockets, SWAT team members took him to the ground, where he was handcuffed and taken into custody without further incident. Whitted did receive a minor injury to his face when he was taken to the ground. No deputies were injured.
Deputies then applied for and received a search warrant for the residence to look for firearms and other items of evidence.
Formal charges will be filed once the prosecuting attorney’s office has the opportunity to review the case