48-year-old man holds stand-off with authorities - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

48-year-old man holds stand-off with authorities

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Authorities say 48-year-old James "free Bird" Williams of Colerain had been making threats all day.

First, saying he was going to kill himself. Then that he was going to kill a friend.

Sheriff's deputies repeatedly went to his house on Barton Road but Williams wasn't there.

But it turns out he was nearby.

At one point, he called 911 and told them to get deputies to leave or he'd start shooting them.

The deputies backed off but set up a perimeter. They activated the Sheriff's Special Operations Branch- The SOB Team.

By pinging Williams' cell phone, they discovered he was in the woods behind his house.

At this point, they said he was desperate, saying he was armed with a shotgun and a .45 caliber weapon, and he would use them.

He also made comments at that time that he wanted suicide-by-cop.

Sgt. Tom DeVaul, the first SOB member on the scene, started talking by phone with Williams.

Knowing him for years, DeVaul didn't bark orders, he says he just talked, and in 5 minutes, Williams came out.

DeVaul says some times a calm conversation rather than a hard attitude is called for.

"Right, I mean we're train to help people. Just because we're on scene does not mean we're there to hurt anyone. We are there for everyone's safety and well-being," he said. "That's the number one priority."

Williams is jailed now, charged with aggravated menacing, inducing panic, failure to comply with the order of police, violating a protection order and disorderly conduct.

DeVaul says despite a thorough search, the guns Williams claimed he had, were never found.

They may have been fictitious or they may have been hidden.

DeVaul says that's still a concern. But Jimmy "free Bird" Williams did not get to commit suicide-by-cop.

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