Customers stuck in store as an armed man is involved in 4-hour l - KMOV.com

Customers stuck in store as an armed man is involved in 4-hour long standoff

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A standoff outside a St. Ann Shop 'n Save ended peacefully early Wednesday (Credit: KMOV) A standoff outside a St. Ann Shop 'n Save ended peacefully early Wednesday (Credit: KMOV)
ST. ANN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

ST. ANN (KMOV.com) – About 40 customers were stuck inside a North County store while an armed man was involved in a 4-hour long standoff with police in St. Ann overnight. 

Around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, an Iraq veteran, described as being in his mid-30s, barricaded himself inside a car in the Shop ‘n Save parking lot in the 10000 block of St. Charles Rock Road. The man had one visible gun and possibly another in his car, police told News 4.  

When the standoff began, store employees shut down the Shop ‘n Save and kept customers inside. The customers inside the store were trapped for four hours before officers started walking them out one-by-one.  "In a way we felt like hostages. Of course our lives didn't feel too at danger, but it was strange not being able to leave and go about your normal business," said Jacob Harrison, who went to the Shop 'n Save Tuesday night to pick up his wife's prescription and ended up getting stuck in the 4 hour lock down.

"At one point the management of Shop 'n Save decided to offer free drinks to everybody that was stuck inside and it was at that point that we realized it could be all night. We didn't know when we were going to be released," said Harrison. 

St. Ann police said the man made it clear he wanted to either kill himself or have an officer kill him. The man also reportedly did the same thing last year.

“He is 100 percent committed to killing himself, or he wants to die by suicide by cop,” St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez said as the standoff was ongoing.

Detectives said deadly force could have been used in the standoff.

“Officers could have been justified in using deadly force, but fortunately enough, our officers maintained their composure and continued communicating with this individual which fortunately enough led to him eventually surrendering and stepping out of his vehicle,” St. Ann Police Det. Dan Cowsert said.

The standoff ended peacefully around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

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