Police: Standoff suspect had gun in hand when he was shot

Police: Standoff suspect had gun in hand when he was shot
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 1:52 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The name of the man shot by police after an hours long standoff Monday on E. Missouri Street has been released.

The coroner’s office says the man was 37-year-old Gary Youngblood.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

[VCSO: Suspect dies after 6 hour standoff in Evansville]

Police say Youngblood showed a gun several times during the negotiations and threatened to shoot officers.

They say the gun was still in his hand when he was shot. Police say it turned out to be an airsoft gun, but looked like a handgun.

Evansville Police and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Tuesday.

“The officer believed the suspect had the gun in his hand. That officer fired two shots at the suspect. The officers on the inside of the residence found the suspect laying on the balcony with the gun still in his hand,” says Evansville Police Sergeant Anna Gray.

Officials say 37-year-old Gary Youngblood shut himself inside house on East Missouri Street in Evansville for seven hours.

Despite what law enforcement described as multiple attempts over the course of several hours to convince him to come out, as well as the deployment of non-lethal measures like gas, they say Youngblood refused to leave the residence.

“We were willing to let this thing play out for as long as necessary as we thought we had rapport and communication, but once we lost that, we had to take other steps,” says Vanderburgh County Sheriff Noah Robinson, “we had to return that neighborhood back to the residents that lived there.”

In the final hours before Youngblood was shot and killed by an Evansville Police Officer, Sheriff Noah Robinson says communication between Youngblood and officials had completely broken down.

That was when officers converged.

They say Youngblood was shot on a second floor balcony, a difficult sight for neighbors who had been watching the scene unfold all day.

“She started screaming, ‘they’re shooting outside,’ and I took them into the bathroom and said, ‘lay down on the floor by the bathtub,’” says neighbor Donald Land, “then, I came back up here and started watching again. It was just terrible.”

Sergeant Anna Gray says Youngblood had this gun in his hand when he exited through a window and onto that second floor balcony before being shot, but it was later revealed to be an airsoft pistol.

Gray and Robinson each say it’s not the result anybody wants, but despite what they say was thinking outside of the box to bring this situation to a peaceful end, it’s the result they got.

“Once communication stops and we realize they’re not interested in hearing what we have to say, and they’re not interested in cooperating, that does change things,” says Gray.

Watch the full news conference here:

Full news conference after standoff suspect was shot by police