ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was arrested Saturday after a call of shots fired inside a home and a nearly four-hour standoff with authorities.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said the Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a call of shots fired inside 310 N. Franklin St. at 6:31 a.m. Saturday. Deputies and Rockford Police Chief Paul May responded and discovered Thurman Whitted Jr., 58, and his girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute.
“Whitted then entered the bedroom of the home and fired one round from a handgun. He was alone in the bedroom at the time,” Grey said. “The girlfriend and her adult daughter then fled the residence and called the Sheriff’s Office. Whitted reportedly had a .45 caliber handgun and rifles in the residence.”
Grey said deputies surrounded the house and attempted to make contact. The victims told authorities Whitted had pulled the landline phone out of the wall in the residence but that there were two cellphones inside. Several attempts were made to call the cellphones, however, Whitted did not answer, Grey said.
“Deputies then tried to make contact by the public address system from the cruisers and by operating their sirens and air horns,” Grey said. “Whitted did not respond. A family member was contacted and was unable to make contact also.”
After those repeated failed attempts to make contact with Whitted, the Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics team. As the SWAT team was en route additional attempts to contact Whitted were unsuccessful.
Grey said at 11:05 a.m. a family member was able to make contact and he agreed to surrender.
“Whitted exited the residence, but refused to comply with orders to keep his hands up and in view,” Grey said. “When Whitted started to put his hands down near his pockets, SWAT team members took him to the ground where he was handcuffed and taken into custody without further incident.”
Whitted suffered a minor injury to his face when he was taken to the ground. No officers were injured, Grey said.
Formal charges were pending a review by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Thurman Whitted Jr.