Appleton Police say situation involving armed man on church roof resolved

Standoff on S Matthias Street in Appleton. May 19, 2022.
Standoff on S Matthias Street in Appleton. May 19, 2022.(WBAY)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 11:43 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Appleton Police say a situation involving an armed man on the roof of an east side church has been resolved safely.

Police responded to calls to S. Matthias St. at 10:13 Thursday morning about a man who pointed a gun at someone and then at himself. He then got on the roof of the church at St. Bernadette’s Parish on nearby Lourdes St. He fired two shots into the air as police arrived but did not fire again and he sat down on the roof.

Lt. Meghan Cash says the 33-year-old man was in crisis, “having a very bad day.” She says he continued a dialogue with negotiators that resulted in his safe surrender before 1 P.M. No one was hurt.

He was taken to the Outagamie County Jail where he’ll be provided with mental health services and additional resources, police said. Action 2 News is not identifying him because he hasn’t been formally charged. Cash said police were familiar with the man through previous contacts with him.

SWAT personnel from around the Fox Valley secured a perimeter around the scene during the standoff. Johnston Elementary and Appleton East High schools went into lockdown, and people nearby were advised to shelter in place. The location is near Thompson Center on Lourdes, Options for Independent Living, and a residential area.

While some officers took positions behind squad cars and bushes, other officers spread out to protect people nearby.

Lt. Cash said, “Our officers were able to make it into the church building as well as some of the other buildings in the area, so the entire time the incident was going on people inside had an officer or multiple officers with them to maintain that wherever location they needed to be was safe.”

Sean O’Hagan, of Appleton, waited outside the church. ”My wife works in the building as an employee with a dozen other faculty members,” he told us. “She’s in there right now.”

”Pretty concerned,” he continued. “Obviously, there is someone in pain. Hopefully, this is a win-win situation. Hopefully, nobody gets hurt.”

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Police say the man had a mental health crisis

Police were assisted by the sheriff’s offices from Outagamie, Brown and Winnebago counties, Grand Chute and Green Bay police departments, the Appleton Fire Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and Gold Cross ambulances.

Officers entered St. Bernadette, which is a campus with several buildings. Police stayed with people inside to help keep them safe.

The Appleton Police Command and Tactical Unit responded to the scene.

Police respond to a tactical situation in Appleton. May 19, 2022.
Police respond to a tactical situation in Appleton. May 19, 2022.(WBAY)
Police responded to a man who pointed his gun at a person and then at himself before climbing on the roof of a church

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