Armed standoff ends peacefully in PA

PORT ANGELES — An armed man who locked himself in his house with his elderly mother surrendered peacefully Wednesday after keeping police at bay for about four hours.

An FBI agent convinced John W. Spradlin, a convicted felon in his early 30s, to leave his house with his hands up at about 5:40 p.m.

Spradlin was taken to the Clallam County jail and is expected to face charges in Superior Court.

He had a handgun, which he never fired, Police Chief Tom Riepe said.

Riepe said Spradlin’s mother, Alvena Spradlin, who is in her 70s and uses a walker, was “quite upset about the incident” but was uninjured.

Though Spradlin apparently never intended to hurt his mother, “she’s obviously very relieved,” Riepe added.

The police chief said Spradlin has a history of mental health issues and was convicted of felony indecent liberties in the 1980s in Clallam County.

Police, sheriff’s deputies and State Patrol officers had blocked off parts of Cherry and West Sixth streets and surrounded Spradlin’s house.

Officers evacuated homes in the area, though many residents stayed in their houses with their blinds closed and doors locked. A busload of school children was diverted to the high school.

Possession of a firearm

A sharpshooter stood behind a tree in a yard across the street from Spradlin’s house as waiting officers watched Spradlin and his mother through the windows.

The standoff began at about 2 p.m. when police attempted to serve a search warrant on Spradlin, who lives at 238 W. Sixth St. with his mother, Riepe said.

FBI agents had contacted police Tuesday and advised them that Spradlin was illegally in possession of a firearm.

Spradlin sent letters to the FBI indicating he was distraught and intended to shoot someone, and most recently had mailed the FBI a photograph of his handgun, which FBI agents received Tuesday, Special Agent Stephanie Gleason of the FBI’s Silverdale office said Wednesday.

When police knocked on Spradlin’s door to search for the gun, Spradlin showed officers his weapon, locked his door and refused to allow them to enter, Riepe said.

Hostage negotiators contacted Spradlin by telephone, but he broke off the contact, Riepe said.

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The rest of the story appears in the Thursday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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