The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

February 18, 2009

Man shoots TV set; standoff ensues

By Jeff Lehr

jlehr@joplinglobe.com

WEBB CITY, Mo. — A man who was angry about the shut-off of his cable-television service shot his television set Wednesday afternoon and then prompted a two-hour standoff with police before leaving his house and surrendering.

The standoff began about 3:30 p.m. at a house on the southwest corner of Ball and Daugherty streets in Webb City.

Police Chief Carl Francis said the wife of Walter Hoover, 70, walked to the police station a couple of blocks away and reported that her husband had been drinking, was angry with a shut-off of his cable service, and had gotten his guns out.

“He actually fired two rounds before she left the residence,” Francis said.

Both rounds apparently were directed at and struck the couple’s television set, he said. He said he did not know why the couple’s cable service had been shut off.

A police officer responding to the woman’s report spotted Hoover at the front door of the residence with a handgun. The officer called for assistance rather than approaching the home, and other Webb City police, state patrol officers, Jasper County deputies, and officers from the Duenweg, Duquesne, Carterville and JasCo Metro police departments all responded.

Francis said Hoover went back inside the house and returned to the front door a short time later with what officers recognized as a high-powered hunting rifle.

The police chief said Hoover’s possession of such a powerful weapon, coupled with information obtained from his wife that he had been in a similar standoff with police on a previous occasion in another Missouri town, led to a decision to call for help from the Joplin Police Department’s special weapons and tactics team, which happened to be assembled for a training day and available on short notice.

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