Sonora, CA — The five hour 45 minute Willow Springs standoff between a still unidentified 53 year old male and numerous law enforcement agencies ended peacefully at approximately 5:30 this evening.
The standoff started close to noon when the suicidal male became involved in an argument with his wife in the front yard. As deputies from the Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Office approached, the man retreated to the house. Deputies quickly followed to make contact but he locked himself in a bedroom. Deputies then thought they heard him placing a shell in the chamber of a shotgun. They immediately retreated and a command post was established on Tanner Drive adjacent to the residence in the 17000 block of Livermore Court.
According to Tuolumne County Sheriff Department Deputy Paul Tualla at 5:20 this evening the incident commander for the Tuolumne County S.W.A.T. Unit decided to make entry into the house. 10 minutes later team members found the 53 year old semi-conscious man on the floor possibly due to a medical condition. Within the bedroom were several weapons, one of them a loaded shotgun. The Incident Command Team had not had contact with the man since 3:15pm.
The man was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment and a mental health evaluation. A complete list of charges has yet to be released along with his identity. His wife was removed from the scene by Sheriff´s deputies as soon as the man re-entered his home following the late morning argument.
S.W.A.T. Units from Tuolumne and Calaveras counties were on scene along with a Sierra Conservation Center S.W.A.T. Unit. The CHP was also on site along with the Fish and Game Department.
Written by Bill Johnson