TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - There were some tense moments for a neighborhood on Terre Haute's north side after police say someone fired shots after an argument.
This led to a police standoff that lasted more than four hours.
Officials report Jeremy Ross fired shots into the floor in his apartment and took off. But, police stood by at the scene for several hours not knowing if the scene was safe.
The response may have seemed long, especially when police found that Ross was not holed up in his apartment.
Several factors led to how things happened, and why the chief says they did the right thing.
"In something like that, we err on the side of caution," Terre Haute Police Chief, John Plasse said.
Wednesday night's police standoff certainly had its share of tense moments. Shots were fired, people were evacuated, and there was a long wait as police along with Ross's father and girlfriend made numerous attempts to contact him.
"Until we got a response, we didn't know if he was alive or not, and at that point we did, and we just tried to figure out where he was," said Plasse.
Officials say they had information that Ross was likely not in his apartment.
However, his text messages hinted that he could have been. Police also saw movement inside the second floor apartment.
Perhaps that was from his dogs, but Plasse said they were taking no chances.
"But then again, we didn't know for sure, and we didn't know if he was up there maybe thinking about killing himself," said Plasse. "That's why I said we don't want to rush in there and cause him to do an action that he maybe wouldn't if we had waited him out and calm down."
Still, police were confident Ross was elsewhere. It's one thing to be confident. It's another to be absolutely certain.
That's why officers did a careful sweep of the apartment.
"We cleared methodically," said Plasse. "We did room by room to make sure he wasn't there, that he wouldn't hurt one of us or himself possibly. That doesn't happen in a minute. It takes several minutes to get that done."
In fact, all of these steps took a lot of time, but this was done slowly so that no one got hurt.
And in the end, police got their man without incident. As for the standoff, the chief says his officers did their jobs well.
"On the whole response last night, i wouldn't see anything being changed on that," said Plasse. "Had we not determined in our minds that he wasn't there, we probably would have been there a lot longer than that."
Ross's criminal history includes a conviction for carrying a handgun without a license
Crime scene technicians also discovered that a round that Ross fired went through the floor of his apartment, through the apartment below and into the basement.
Thankfully, no one was struck by any of the shots fired.
A tip from the public led police to Ross, who was sleeping in a garage on South 13th Street.
He's now in the Vigo County Jail.
Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Terre Haute Police Department responded to the Statesman Inn at 1407 N 3rd Street. Officers found a 21-year-old with multiple stab wounds who was taken to a local hospital.
The Washington Police Department responded Friday around 2 a.m. to a complaint of a male subject being shot. The incident happened on Oak Grove Road in Washington near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
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