Weapons recovered following Fond du Lac fire, standoff

FOND DU LAC (WITI) -- Fond du Lac officials on Wednesday, December 11th released photos from an incident that occurred on Monday -- involving a suspicious fire and standoff.

At approximately 9:02 a.m. on Monday, December 09, 2013, the City of Fond du Lac Police Department assisted the City of Fond du Lac Fire Department with a house fire at 65 N. Hickory Street.

While on scene, it was determined that the fire was suspicious in nature and a person of interest was identified.

City of Fond du Lac Police Officers immediately began searching for this subject in the vicinity of his residence at 871 S. Main Street.

As initial responding officers arrived in that area, they began reporting that they were being fired upon.

Several other City of Fond du Lac Police officers, detectives, and commanders immediately responded to help assist the officers that were being fired upon and to establish a perimeter in an attempt to isolate the shooter and protect people in nearby homes and businesses.

The City of Fond du Lac Police Department’s newly acquired ‘BearCat’ tactical armored vehicle was driven to the scene to provide increased ballistic protection in immediate proximity of the building from which shots were being fired.

Additionally, the Fond du Lac Police Department SWAT Team was activated and responded to the incident command area that had been established at the South Main Street Fire Station.

City of Fond du Lac Police Department officers and detectives began working to gather information and intelligence, and members of the SWAT - Crisis Negotiations Team were able to initiate telephone contact with the suspect.

Intelligence and information gathered by authorities determined that the suspect in this matter was in possession of a significant number of firearms, including a .50 caliber rifle, a significant amount of ammunition, ballistic shields and vests. They also learned that he may be in possession of an explosive device.

In the early stages of this incident, at least three homes were struck by gunfire and at least 26 rounds were fired, including two from the .50 caliber rifle.

Additionally, the investigation has concluded that at least one City of Fond du Lac Police Officer was intentionally shot at as he approached the suspect’s residence.

Due to the intelligence gathered and the obvious display of violence, additional resources were requested from the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, North Fond du Lac Police Department, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Brown/Outagamie County Sheriff’s Departments Bomb Squad, and the FBI – Milwaukee Division.

Additionally, incident command support and rescue resources were committed by the City of Fond du Lac Fire Department.

Shortly after the incident unfolded, officials began disseminating a message to avoid the area and, for those inside a three block radius, to shelter in place and remain there until further notice. That message was conveyed through social media, area media, and through a telephonic messaging network.

One of the first objectives that had been identified was the need to rescue the civilians that were essentially trapped in their apartments in the same building where the suspect was located.

Subsequently, a plan was established to use all three armored vehicles that had arrived on scene (City of Fond du Lac Police Department, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department) in an attempt to rescue those people.

With perimeter protection being provided by the Fond du Lac and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Departments, the City of Fond du Lac Police Department’s SWAT Team drove up to the building in their armored tactical vehicle, and a team of SWAT officers entered the building.

They quickly moved from apartment to apartment, made contact with four individuals that were trapped inside of three different apartments, and escorted them out of the building and into their armored vehicle. They were then driven out of the area and to safety.

Shortly thereafter, the Police Department’s Crisis Negotiators were able to convince the suspect to surrender.

At approximately 2:00 p.m., City of Fond du Lac Police Department SWAT Team officers took the subject into custody as he exited the building.

After the suspect had been taken into custody, a response plan to begin the search for explosives was formulated and carried out. No explosives were discovered, however, an inert device was found in the suspect’s residence.

A search warrant was obtained for the suspect’s residence and, among other items, several firearms, including assault rifles and a .50 caliber rifle, ammunition, tactical vests, and empty shell casings were seized.

The suspect in this incident was arrested and was transported to the Fond du Lac County Jail for ‘Failure to Comply with Officers Attempt to Take Person into Custody (Wis. Stat. 946.415 – Class I Felony).

However, the City of Fond du Lac Police Department’s subsequent investigation into this incident continues and a number of arrests/referrals are forthcoming.