Update: Vermillion woman assaulted, held against her will before - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Update: Vermillion woman assaulted, held against her will before standoff

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An initial investigation shows the wife of the suspect in the Christmas Day standoff in Vermillion was assaulted and held against her will for several hours before she could escape for help.

At about 1:00 am Tuesday, the woman was able to break free to a neighbor and off-duty police officer's home. She told the officer that her husband held her against her will for several hours, assaulted her, prevented her from calling for help by destroying her cell phone and threatened to killer her.

While the officer was calling on-duty police, a witness saw the woman's husband make two trips from the house to the home's garage where the husband was known to have several firearms, including scoped rifles and handguns.

The police department responded and set up a safety perimeter and made contact with the husband by phone. The husband told officers he was armed and intended to kill himself or force officers to kill him, according to the Vermillion Police Department.

Inside the home, the man had the couple's two young children and initially refused to let them to leave. Meanwhile, the wife was transported to the hospital to have her injuries treated, and additional resources were called to assist as negotiations continued.

At about 4:30 am, the husband agreed to release the two children to the off-duty officer who was a neighbor. The off-duty officer walked up to the drive way and the two children were released out the front door to the officer. The children were reunited with their mother.

The nearby homes were contacted and given the opportunity to evacuate to a safe location. The approach roads were blocked to prevent traffic and negotiators continued to speak with the suspect.

At approximately 10:20 am the suspect stopped communicating with negotiators. At the same time, perimeter officers heard a gunshot and saw that a round had exited through the rear window of the home.

Tactical resources were used to approach the home to determine the suspect's condition and reestablish communications.

At 1:30 pm the suspect was found dead in the home. An initial investigation shows the subject died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The subject was a 42-year-old Vermillion resident. Names of the victim or the family will not be released.

The situation is still being actively investigated by the Vermillion Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Office and DCI.

The Vermillion Police Department worked with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Yankton Police Department, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Vermillion Fire Department and Ambulance Service and the University of South Dakota Police to stabilize the situation.

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