Winlock man shoots himself during standoff with law enforcement

Stephen Floyd

A Winlock man has died after shooting himself during a standoff with law enforcement yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The yet-unnamed individual has been described as a 23-year-old who had invaded his family’s home Saturday on the 100 block of Florence Place, east of Winlock, with a handgun, making death threats and refusing to leave.

When the family left to stay elsewhere in fear for their safety, the subject remained in the house and was holed up inside as law enforcement attempted to reason with him during the subsequent four days.

At a certain point, professionals with Cascade Mental Health were called to the scene after the subject made threats to kill himself, but attempts to reach a peaceful resolution were unsuccessful.

Yesterday, as Lewis County SWAT was preparing to enter the residence and disarm him, the subject abruptly exited the house at around 2:30 p.m. Deputies attempted to take him into custody but he escaped back into the house and, shortly afterward, negotiators attempting to make contact over the phone heard a gunshot. The subject was found inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"The Sheriff’s Office and Cascade Mental Health worked tirelessly to bring this situation to a safe ending," stated Sheriff Steve Mansfield in a statement released this morning. "We explored numerous options over the past four days hoping this young man would opt to seek help for his issues and no one would be hurt. Unfortunately he chose to take his life. This is a very sad situation for his family, friends, and everyone involved who was trying to resolve this situation peacefully and get the man help he needed."