MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A 22-year-old man is dead after a tense standoff with police that lasted several hours at a Manhattan apartment complex.
Riley County Police Department officials say it all started Monday night with an argument involving a married couple at the Plaza West Apartments. The complex is located near Cico Park and the Manhattan Area Technical College, not far from the intersection of Seth Child Road and Kimball Avenue. According to Captain Kurt Moldrup, an administrator with the department, 20-year-old Bianca Outten and her husband, 22-year-old Derrick Outten, were having "domestic problems" and Derrick Outten had been staying somewhere else as they were going through a break-up. But Outten was back at the couple's apartment Monday night.
"On April 2nd, at about 7:13 in the evening, the Riley County Police Department received a 911 call from an individual indicating that her husband was inside her apartment with a handgun and had made threats to harm himself," Moldrup told reporters Tuesday morning.
He says Derrick Outten got out a gun during the argument with his wife in their apartment. Moldrup says that no threats were made to Bianca Outten during the conflict and she left without incident and called police.
"The Riley County Police Department responded to the apartment at 3124 Lundin Drive. Officers initially on scene made contact with him and had some brief negotiations with him, trying to talk him out. That all ended rather quickly," Moldrup added. He said a patrol sergeant on duty spoke with Outten through the door as officers first starting arriving at the scene but Outten broke off the conversation early on and officers did not speak to him again, despite hours of attempts at negotiations.
Members of the Emergency Response Unit Negotiations Team and Tactical (SWAT) Team were called out to the location. Tenants in surrounding apartments were evacuated and RCPD officers blocked off nearby streets because of the potential danger of gunfire.
A standoff ensued while negotiators tried to talk the lone man out of the apartment in an effort to get him mental health care. Negotiators not able to re-initiate communication with Outten.
The Junction City Police Department was called in and they lent their assistance by responding with an armored vehicle. Under the protection of the armored vehicle, negotiators and Tactical Team members were able to move in closer to the building and used a public address system to try to re-initiate communication.
"After we saw that we couldn’t make any contact with him, we contacted the Junction City Police Department who has an armored vehicle that they’ve secured. They brought that out to the scene and allowed officers to get closer to the building and use a loud speaker again in an attempt to make contact with him. However, that was to no avail. We do appreciate their immediate response and use of that vehicle," Captain Moldrup said.
With the loss of communication and no signs of being able to re-initiate negotiations, the Tactical Team introduced gas into the apartment. A short time later, a shot was heard from within the apartment. After a waiting period, Tactical officers made entry into the apartment and found Derrick Outten with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"We attempted to make contact for approximately four hours with the individual, trying to bring a peaceful conclusion to this incident. Unfortunately, after about four hours of attempting to negotiate with him, officers heard a gunshot believed to be from inside the residence. After about an hour, we introduced gas into the residence trying to ensure the officers’ safety before we entered to try to get the subject to come out if he would. After we were pretty convinced that he wasn’t coming out and may be injured, officers made entry into the apartment and found that the subject had been deceased as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Moldrup explained during the media briefing Tuesday morning at the police department.
Emergency medical technicians and Manhattan Fire Department members were on scene and went to render first aid. Outten was found to be deceased and was pronounced dead at the scene by the County Coroner's Office.
When asked about the chain of events leading up to the standoff and suicide, Captain Moldrup responded: "There was an ongoing conflict in the family. They were involved in some domestic troubles. They had an ongoing divorce. How to say what led to all of this, I’m not sure, but that was part of it."