Standoff situation resolvedPublished 2:24pm Thursday, April 4, 2013
Law enforcement officers were forced to shut down a street in a residential neighborhood Thursday and a local elementary school implemented their lockdown procedures when a man barricaded himself inside a home on Poplar Street, just off Presley Street.
Clarence Shoemaker was taken into custody at the home after deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department and officers with Atmore Police Department lured him out of the house just before noon.
Officers on the scene said Shoemaker’s mother reported he had threatened his wife with a gun the night prior to the incident, but his spouse of 20 years, LaTangie Shoemaker, said it was all a big misunderstanding. Shoemaker went on to explain that her husband is suffering from cancer, which has affected his mental health.
“He is terminally ill,” she said. “He received news about two months ago there is nothing they can do, so it affected his mind.”
Shoemaker’s wife said her husband was confused the night prior to the incident and did have a bee bee gun, which prompted his mother to believe he was a threat.
“He was confused, but he never threatened me,” she said.
The short standoff began Thursday when a deputy attempted to serve commitment papers to Shoemaker for metal instability.
His wife said it was her idea to have him committed. Fighting back tears, she said she felt it was the safest move for both Shoemaker and the community.
“I haven’t been able to get any help,” she said. “He’s very sick and the best thing I knew was to get court ordered papers for him to get a mental evaluation. Since there are people and a school near our house, I thought it was the safest thing.”
Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said Shoemaker will receive just that.
“He’ll probably be taken for a mental evaluation before they take him to Brewton,” he said.
Shoemaker eventually exited the home unarmed after his mother joined law enforcement officials in their plea for him to surrender.
Shoemaker did not have a weapon on his person at the time of his arrest and was taken into custody without incident.
Only blocks away at A.C. Moore Elementary School, Principal John Brantley said steps were taken to ensure the safety of the students.
“The superintendent called and informed us of the situation,” Brantley said. “We did go into lockdown. We just secure our campus and make sure that our students are in a safe area.”
Brantley said he did not want to divulge the details of the school’s lockdown procedures, sine one the main goals of such a plan is to protect students from any outside danger that could enter the campus.
“We mainly did it as a precaution to ensure the safety of our students,” he said. “You never want to take a chance with something that is happening that close.”
As of Friday afternoon Shoemaker remained at the mental health facility in Brewton and had not been booked into the Escambia County Detention Center.