A man who barricaded himself in the basement of a home in Morgan County, prompting a more than three-hour standoff Wednesday morning, was wearing body armor and fired an assault rifle during the ordeal, police said.
Richard Eric Simmons, 27, was being sought on a burglary charge in Marion County and identity theft in Boone County, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.
The standoff began about 8 a.m. at a log home in the 3200 block of Centennial Road, northeast of Martinsville, when a task force that included a federal agent, two Johnson County sheriff's deputies and a Franklin police officer served a failure to pay child support warrant at the home of Charles Kidwell.
Kidwell surrendered, but Simmons, who was in the basement of the home, fired shots, police said.
"When I woke up, I came downstairs, and then the police came in, and then I heard some gunshots before I think I heard Slim yelling, 'I'm not going to give up,'" said Nathan Davidson, a child who lives in the home.
Officers were saved by a ballistic shield they were carrying, police said.
"If you have an AK-47 pointed at you and they're shooting at you, and you don't have a ballistic shield, there's a likelihood that we would have had a dead officer this morning," said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox. "Fortunately, none of those rounds struck the law enforcement officers. Drywall and some other things did strike the officers, but no bullets struck the officers."
Officers returned fire, striking Simmons twice, but he was not hurt because he was wearing armor, police said.
After the initial shots were fired, dozens of officers from several agencies were called to the scene, and a SWAT unit was brought in.
Officers then retreated to another room in the case basement, later tossing tear gas in an effort to force Simmons to surrender. Police sent in a robot with protective gear, which the officers used to escape the house safely, police said.
Officers pulled Simmons from the home just after 11:30 a.m.
He was put on a stretcher, his clothes were cut off and he was sprayed down by officers before being taken away by ambulance.
Simmons was being held in the Morgan County Jail on the outstanding charges. He is expected to be charged in the standoff this week.
"It's been a long day for all of us,"Cox said. "I will tell you that the good Lord was with law enforcement today."
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