Pharos-Tribune

October 4, 2013

Schools shut down as police standoff unfolds in Peru

By Misty Knisely
Pharos-Tribune

PERU — A Peru man is now in police custody after a standoff at his residence early this morning.

Responding to a 911 call of shots fired at 4:30 a.m., police went to a residence at 311 W. 2nd St., Peru. Upon arrival, the first officer on scene saw Blaine O’Neal through the window, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum. O’Neal was holding what appeared to a rifle.

The officer called for backup, a perimeter was established and the area was evacuated. Negotiators with the Miami County Sheriff Department and ISP attempted to make contact with O’Neal, but were unsuccessful, Slocum said.

The standoff continued until shortly before 9 a.m., when police made entry into the home. No injures were reported.

Police did find evidence of shots fired in the home, Slocum said. At this time, O’Neal has not been arrested, Slocum said, adding the suspect is currently being interviewed by police.

Slocum said it’s believed O’Neal has multiple weapons and police are seeking a court order to retrieve them.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor. Earlier in the morning, Slocum said, an officer from Peru Police Department noticed O’Neal sitting on the sidewalk and appeared to be intoxicated. Because O’Neal wasn’t causing a nuisance, the officer drove him home as a courtesy.

Officials at Peru Community Schools canceled classes today as scene unfolded.

Superintendent Chuck Brimbury said police initially advised him to delay school two hours as a precaution.

When officers thought the emergency wouldn't be wrapped up before 10 a.m., Brimbury decided to cancel school completely.

"We can't have kids waiting at bus stops if there's an emergency going on," he said.

— Lindsey Ziliak, Kokomo Tribune reporter, contributed to this report.