Standoff ends without incident
Published 7:00 am Friday, February 27, 2015
A Picayune man is now in custody after fleeing from officers during a routine traffic stop before barricading himself in his own home.
The case began with a routine traffic stop for a driving violation Thursday at about 10 a.m., said Picayune Police Chief Bryan Dawsey.
As the officer attempted to conduct the stop, the suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Joseph Ryan Sumrall of 1304 East Sycamore Road, fled to his home before pulling into his garage and barricading himself in the home, Dawsey said. When Sumrall arrived at the home his girlfriend was there, but she left while he stayed inside, the chief said.
Due to his non-compliance with officer requests to exit the home, and the discovery that guns were in the home, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team was called to assist, along with officers with Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, Mississippi Department of Corrections and Mississippi Department of Transportation.
Dawsey said the weapons were a concern, especially after Sumrall allegedly made threats to the officers that he would not be taken alive.
The more than three hour standoff with law enforcement ended at about 1:30 p.m. when officers took Sumrall into custody after using tactical tear gas grenades to drive him out of the home, said Dawsey.
Before the grenades were shot into the home, Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri tried to negotiate with Sumrall for more than three hours until he stopped speaking to officers and disappeared out of their view. Dawsey said once the officers lost contact with Sumrall, the decision was made to force him out of the home.
“Magri did an awesome job staying there speaking to the suspect,” Dawsey said.
It appears that at the time of the traffic stop Sumrall had several warrants out for his arrest with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for misdemeanor traffic and other violations along with a separate warrant with MDOC for a probation violation, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.
After he was taken into custody a search of his home was conducted where officers found two shotguns and two handguns, along with some marijuana, leading him to be charged with four felony counts of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, speeding, failure to yield to blue lights and sirens, resisting arrest by fleeing, driving while license suspended, no seatbelt and running a red light.
While the standoff ensued, officers set up road blocks to redirect traffic away from the scene and evacuated residents from neighboring homes.
“At no time was any citizen in danger,” Dawsey said. “The first thing we did was evacuate the citizens. Our primary concern was the safety of the public.”
The standoff ended at about 1:30 that afternoon after several tear gas grenades were shot into the home. Loud bangs could be heard as the grenades were launched into several areas of the home in an effort to drive Sumrall out. Once they were shot into the home, it took only minutes for Sumrall to surrender.
More than 40 officers were on scene during the incident.
Dawsey said he would like to extend his gratitude for all of the agencies that assisted with the operation and helped it come to a peaceful conclusion.
No other person was in the home when Sumrall was taken into custody, and no one was injured during the operation, Dawsey said.