WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Homes evacuated in police standoff

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

A Lexington neighborhood is quiet again after a standoff with a suspect inside a home.

Shots were fired, and that shut down part of Mint Julep Lane near the Man O' War and Harrodsburg Road area.

Homes nearby had to be evacuated during the four-hour long standoff, but late Wednesday night, a man inside the home finally surrendered.

With police cars lining the streets and officers shutting down roads, neighbors like Michelle Shade struggled to understand what was happening. "They told me to go ahead and go inside, but go to the basement," Shade said, "so when I let my dogs out front to walk them real quick, they told me to go ahead and evacuate."

Police say it all began when a man's wife called 911 to say her husband was suicidal. Authorities would only describe him as a 53-year-old man, but friends and neighbors identified him as James Verdenburgh. "I've seen him act a little weird a few times," Shade said, "like talking to himself in the backyard at night, stuff like that but nothing here lately."

Police say shortly after they arrived, their suspect showed signs of violence. "As they were attempting to contact the occupants of the house," Lexington Police Sgt. Scott May said, "a female and daughter came out of the house, and while they were talking to them, one shot was fired from inside the house.

A second shot drew more officers to the scene, but no one was injured. Once negotiations began, Lexington Police say the suspect mentioned a family friendship with Montgomery County Sheriff Fred Shortridge, who arrived to help talk to the suspect. Those negotiations continued for hours, and at one point news coverage seemed to upset the suspect. "I think one of the things he saw was the robots that were being used," May said, "but, you know they were not used against him."

In the end, negotiators convinced the man to surrender peacefully without incident. Police say for now the priority is for doctors to make their evaluation before investigators decide if any charges are filed.

An ambulance took the suspect to an area hospital in part over concerns that he had taken medication. However, police say despite the original call, it's unclear if there was an actual attempt to commit suicide.

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