[Update: McCall was arraigned on a $100,000 bond and placed in the Lawrence County Jail.]
Local and state police were involved in a stand off at an Ellwood City home yesterday night. The standoff lasted about seven hours, although no one was hurt.
According to the police report, Ellwood City officers received a call that a man was threatening to shoot himself and would shoot anyone that intervened. Officers arrived at the residence on Patricia Drive around 5:45 p.m. and made contact with the defendant, Jeffrey McCall, age 39.
According to the criminal complaint, officers had attempted to do a welfare check on McCall earlier in the day per request by the Baden Police Department. McCall had failed to show up for a scheduled preliminary hearing in Beaver County and now had a bench warrant for his arrest. However, McCall was not home at the time.
On the second visit to the residence, investigating officers found McCall in his basement with a hunting rifle. McCall was drinking beer and refused to come upstairs, threatening to shoot officers.
Investigating officers subsequently called for back up. In all, nine Ellwood City officers were involved and officers from Wampum, North Sewickely Township, Franklin Township and Marion Township arrived. In addition, responders from the Ellwood City Hospital and Ellwood City Fire Department were on the scene.
According to the police report and criminal complaint, McCall taunted the officers throughout the stand off and continued to drink beer. At approximately 9 p.m., McCall discharged a single shot for unknown reasons.
Police filed a body search warrant with Magistrate Jerry Cartwright. State Police arrived to assist and called in a Special Emergency Response Team. The SERT unit attempted negotiation and ultimately used tear gas, rendering McCall unconscious. A robot sent into the basement confirmed McCall had passed out, ending the incident at 1:15 a.m. Officers cleared the scene at 1:50 a.m.
“Our officers did an excellent job,” Lt. Dave Kingston, the ranking Ellwood City police officer, said. “Thank you to the state police and officers from the outlying municipalities who all did a terrific job, and we’re glad no one was hurt.”
During the stand off, officers directed traffic on Route 65, Mount Vernon Drive and Haig Street away from the residence.
McCall was taken to the Ellwood City Hospital and cleared for incarceration in the Ellwood City jail.
This morning, he was charged with terroristic threats, resisting arrest, two counts of aggravated assault (for attempting to hurt himself and officers) and recklessly endangering another person.