UPDATED: Fort Wayne Police Use Distraction, Special Ammo to End Standoff

UPDATE at 9:58AM on 9/29/15: The woman has been identified by police as 27-year-old Melanie Dawn Clary. The man is being held on a 72-hour psych evaluation. His name has not yet been released.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A shoplifting suspect forced a standoff with Fort Wayne police Monday afternoon. 

It started at around 1:40pm when a man and woman were caught shoplifting at the Southtown Walmart; the woman was caught, but the man ended up climbing on top of a nearby AutoZone and told police he would shoot himself. After a couple of hours of negotiation, police used “less than lethal” ammo to subdue him, then lowered him to the ground using a Fort Wayne Fire truck. 

His name has not yet been released. An official press release from the Fort Wayne Police Department follows:

Fort Wayne police responded to the Walmart store located in the Southtown Shopping Center on the report of two individuals shoplifting. As officers were responding updated information indicated that Walmart loss prevention personnel were detaining a female suspect and following the male suspect who ran from the store.

The male was later found on the roof of the Autozone store where he indicated to officers that he was armed and would shoot himself if approached. Our EST (Emergency Services Team) and CRT (Crisis Response Team) personnel were called to the scene where they attempted to talk the suspect down. After several attempts of communicating with the suspect failed, EST members deployed to the rooftop of the Autozone, approached the suspect and used “less than lethal” rounds to assist in taking the suspect into custody. Utilizing a Fort Wayne Fire Department ladder truck, the suspect was lowered to the ground and then transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

During the standoff US 27 was shut down both north and south lanes of traffic and shoppers in retail stores in close proximity to the scene were required to stay in place. The area was back open to normal activity at approximately 3:45 p.m.