SWAT entry ends 5-hour standoff

Ariana van den Akker/The Herald
A standoff that began around 11 a.m. Saturday in Haysville ended peacefully as police were able to enter the home at 617 W. Seitz Street where shots were reported fired and bring out a man that was barricaded inside. That man was later identified as 46-year-old Brian K. Mehringer. View a gallery of photos from the event here.

Herald Staff Writer

HAYSVILLE — A five-hour standoff that ensued after a firearm was reported to have been discharged in a Haysville home Saturday ended when an Indiana State Police special weapons and tactics team stormed the residence and took the suspect in custody.

Members of the raid entry teams said it was the outcome they had sought.

The incident began to unfold at 10:45 a.m. when the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department was told of a distraught woman with a firearm in the street outside the home at 617 W. Seitz St. It was reported that a man inside the home had discharged a .338-caliber rifle there.

The Dubois County emergency response team arrived and set up a perimeter around the home where the suspect, later identified as 46-year-old Brian K. Mehringer of the Seitz Street address, was holed up.

The local emergency response team has 11 members from departments across the county, plus three tactical medics who do not make entries, who train together monthly for situations like raid entries where the team might be called into action, said team leader Nathan Schmitt, who is the assistant chief of the Jasper Police Department.

Sheriff Donny Lampert assumed incident command and, in analyzing the resources available, determined the local team would hold the perimeter and wait for the state police SWAT team to arrive and stage, according to Schmitt. The local officers had a designated assault team ready to take the suspect into custody if he decided to come out and surrender.

Ariana van den Akker/The Herald
Indiana State Police officers prepared to enter the home at 617 W. Seitz St. in Haysville after shots were reported fired there Saturday. A standoff that began around 11 a.m. Saturday ended peacefully as police were able to bring out a man identified as 46-year-old Brian K. Mehringer who was barricaded inside. Multiple law enforcement agencies were on the scene for nearly four hours.

State police spokesman Sgt. Chad Dick said his agency’s 12-member SWAT team is comprised of troopers who come from as far as the Versailles post in eastern Indiana’s Ripley County and the Evansville post to the south.

“It takes them a little bit longer” to arrive on the scene, but the state police resources included an armored vehicle and a remote-controlled, camera-equipped rover, Schmitt said.

Numerous attempts were made to contact Mehringer, who never responded. Schmitt said the robot was deployed inside the Seitz Street home for everyone’s safety but, when it could not get access to every place the SWAT members wished to view, the decision was made to enter the residence.

Police found Mehringer sitting at the kitchen table with a firearm, authorities said. He was subdued with the aid of a Taser stun gun, according to the sheriff’s department.

“Anytime we can have a successful ending where no one is hurt … it’s a success,” Dick said.
Sometimes such standoffs are lengthy, he added, “but if the outcome is everybody is alive, that’s the outcome we’re looking for.”

“It worked really well,” Schmitt agreed. The fact that no one was injured “was the best part about it.”

After being medically cleared at Memorial Hospital, Mehringer was booked into the Dubois County Security Center at 7:09 p.m. on a Class D felony count of criminal recklessness with a firearm.

The Ferdinand, Huntingburg and Jasper police departments, the Haysville Volunteer Fire Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services assisted.

Contact Bill Powell at bpowell@dcherald.com.

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