Law. Co. standoff ends in public suicide

The home, shown, located on Law. Co. 1080, is where the standoff occurred.

In last week’s issue of the Record, on the front page, within the story titled “Law. Co. standoff ends in public suicide” we regrettably ran a picture of the house where police and emergency personnel were parked and staging, not where the standoff actually took place, which was at the home next door. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.
A Mt. Vernon man took his own life after engaging in a three-hour standoff with law enforcement outside his home on Monday, June 17. Kevin Lee Scheel, 45, died after putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger.
Lt. Jon Ford, of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), said the standoff began around 11 a.m. that morning when a family member of Scheel’s went to his house, located on Country Road 1080, south of Country Road 2140, to get some tools, only to find himself threatened by Scheel.
“(He) went to get tools for a truck,” Ford said. “Scheel threatened him with a firearm, threatened to shoot him if he didn’t leave.”
The family member left and contacted the LCSO to report the threat.
“He called the sheriff’s office and said (Scheel) threatened him with a firearm and said he believed (Scheel) was holding a lady who lived there against her will.”
When LCSO deputies arrived, Ford said, Scheel released the woman.
“He allowed her to leave as soon as he saw law enforcement arrive,” Ford said. “He let her out of the residence.”
Ford said Scheel was angry because his relationship with the woman had recently ended.
“(They) had been involved in a relationship and just recently broke up,” Ford said, “and he was upset about the break up.”

Because of Sheel’s actions, Ford said, the decision was made to try to apprehend him.
“(The) officers that respond set up a perimeter,” he said. We got the information and found out what had transpired, and due to him being in the residence and the crimes he’d committed, it was decided that we couldn’t just leave him there. We needed to get him out of the residence and take him into custody for crimes he had been alleged to commit. So, we contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol and asked them to respond (with) their negotiators their SWAT team.”
The negotiators unsuccessfully tried to persuade Scheel to surrender.
“At about 6 p.m. or thereabouts, he came out of the residence, put (a handgun) to his head and took his own life,” said Ford.
Had Scheel chosen to surrender, he could have potentially been looking at several years in prison for his actions.
“He committed several crimes,” Ford said, “and they were all … serious felonies. We’re talking first degree burglary, numerous … counts of assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.”
While the situation didn’t end the way the officers wanted it to, Ford said the outcome could have been much worse.
“We all truly feel that it is unfortunate that it ended this way,” he said, “but we’re fortunate nobody else got hurt.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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