Police: Barricaded man dies of self-inflicted gunshot

From Local Sources

WEST BADEN — Police say a 34-year-old French Lick man ultimately shot himself after barricading himself in a woman’s West Baden Springs home on Monday.

At approximately 6 p.m. Monday, police say the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was called by the homeowner of 10090 W. Orange County Road 160N, West Baden Springs, to report that she believed Angel L. Pagan, 34, of French Lick could potentially be in her home.

According to police, the homeowner had earlier reported that Pagan had allegedly threatened to kill her as the result of a domestic dispute and she was afraid to return home by herself with her 2-year-old child.

As a result of the homeowner’s concern, members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and West Baden Springs Police Department responded to the residence and entered the home with a key provided by the homeowner.

Responding officers were also aware of an unrelated misdemeanor warrant for resisting law enforcement that had been issued for Pagan’s arrest.

When they entered the home, Indiana State Police said, officers discovered Pagan was, in fact, in the residence. Police say the officers asked Pagan to surrender himself and he immediately displayed a handgun, retreated into a bedroom and locked the door. The officers did not immediately confront Pagan, police say, opting to instead leave the home, establish a perimeter and summon additional assistance.

Police report that additional members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Indiana State Police, including SWAT team members and state police hostage crisis negotiators, arrived at the scene and spoke with Pagan into the early morning hours Tuesday trying to encourage him to peacefully surrender.

As Tuesday morning drew near, Springs Valley school officials were notified to arrange for an alternate school bus route to assure safe transportation of school-age children who lived within the area.

Negotiations continued through the day and into the afternoon, according to police, even as Pagan made efforts to obstruct the view into the home by placing a mattress in front of a window.

Despite this, police say Orange County Sheriff Josh Babcock offered to move to a place of personal jeopardy to speak with Pagan and implore him to surrender.

When it became apparent Babcock was not going to be successful in convincing Pagan to surrender, members of the state police SWAT team removed the door from the opposite side of the home.

Police report that this action was taken since it was known Pagan was on the other side of the house and, if it was necessary to enter the home, it would make entry tactically safer for law enforcement.

Police believe that when Pagan heard the door being removed, he retreated back into the house and fired a single gunshot.

Troopers quickly entered the home and discovered Pagan incapacitated with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Officers at the scene began rendering first-aid to Pagan as an ambulance that was already near the scene as a safety precaution responded as well.

Paramedics from the ambulance, along with a state police officer and medical personnel from an Air Evac helicopter that had been summoned to the scene, worked for more than 30 minutes to try and stabilize Pagan while he was in the ambulance. Despite everyone’s efforts, police say Pagan was pronounced deceased in the ambulance.

Orange County Coroner Aaron Kemple arrived at the scene and preliminarily ruled Pagan’s death as a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to the head.  An autopsy for Pagan has been scheduled for today.

Further comments about the official cause of death will be made by the coroner at a future date once the results of the autopsy have been finalized.

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