UPDATE: Suspect who was at the center of a swat standoff in Vienna appears in court.
Gary Clark is charged with making threats to commit a terrorist act.
VIENNA, W.Va (WTAP) -
UPDATE: 6:15 P.M. 9/15/2020
The man who was at the center of a swat standoff in Vienna, after bringing a toy gun into the Vienna Fire Department appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.
Gary Clark appeared by Skype for a hearing in Wood County Magistrate Court.
During the hearing, Clark’s attorney filed a motion seeking a compentency evaluation.
Clark is currenty being held at the North Central Regional Jail.
UPDATE: 4:30 P.M. 9/9/2020
It;s now believed that Gary Clark, the 71-year old resident of southern Jackson County, has had problems in that county as well.
Clark is being held in the North Central Regional Jail on $200,000 bond.
He was scheduled to appear Tuesday night in Vienna’s Municipal Court on a shoplifting charge, when he entered the volunteer fire department, located across the street, and, with a gun in his hand, threatened suicide.
It’s now known the gun he was holding was an unloaded toy gun.
“It appears the alleged firearm was a toy gun, a pellet gun or a BB gun, powered by a CO2 cartridge, Police Chief Mike Pifer said Wednesday. "We believe his intent was to make it appear to be an authentic weapon, and it was found that it wasn’t.”
The incident has led to discussions about security in Vienna’s public buildings.
It’s reported Clark entered the fire department building through an open door, unlocked while preparations for a meeting there were under way.
Chief Pifer and Mayor Randy Rapp discussed Wednesday how changes could be made to prevent an incident like this from happening again.
UPDATE 10:06 P.M. 9/8/2020
A man who police say took a gun into the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department surrenders peacefully.
Dispatchers got the call at 5:36 p.m. Tuesday. The caller was a part of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s Women’s Auxiliary. They were scheduled to have a meeting there during that time. Members of the auxiliary ran after the Gary Clark made threats with the gun.
Vienna Police and Wood County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and formed a perimeter. Also responding to the scene were officers from the Parkersburg Police Department and personnel from the Wood County 911 center (Mobile Command Unit).
A crisis negotiator from the Parkersburg Police Department was able to make contact with Clark. He made statements to the negotiator about using a gun to provoke a response from law enforcement. Clark agreed to leave the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department peacefully right before 8:00 p.m. Clark was then taken into custody without any further problems.
Clark is charged with making threats to commit a terrorist act, which is a felony. If he’s convicted, it holds a penalty of 1-3 years in a state correctional facility. His arraignment is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. 9/08/2020. He is 71 years-old and from Liverpool, West Virginia.
9/8/2020 8:54 P.M.
According to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, the man is out of the building and he is safe.
ORIGINAL STORY 9/8/2020 6:16 P.M.
A SWAT team has been called to the Vienna Fire Department as authorities try to make contact with a man reported to have a gun.
A Wood County 911 dispatch supervisor said authorities got a call about 5:30 p.m. about a man with a gun at the fire department, located at 609 28th St.
As of about 6:10 p.m., Sheriff Steve Stephens said authorities had not made contact with the man and were waiting on SWAT officers to get to the scene.
We have a reporter headed to the area and will have updates online and during WTAP News as information becomes available.
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