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Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, MA)
October 4, 2001
Author: KAREN JEFFREY
HYANNIS – A distraught 26-year-old Mashpee man held off police for more than an hour yesterday after barricading himself in a restroom at the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Barnstable Road.
Jeffrey R. Stebbins finally surrendered, but not before firing a shot from a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun through the locked restroom door.
The bullet narrowly missed at least six police officers, including negotiators, who were outside the restroom in the kitchen.
The stand-off began at 11:10 a.m. and ended at 12:25 p.m.
From start to finish, traffic was blocked along Barnstable Road and Winter Street within a quarter-mile of the restaurant. Customers of nearby stores and businesses were told to remain inside, state police Lt. Robert Melia said.
“This ended safely and that’s the most important thing,” said Sgt. Michael Damery, head of the Barnstable tactical unit.
Stebbins told police he had not been taking (his) medications prescribed for depression .
After surrendering, Stebbins was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, examined and then returned to the Barnstable Police Station where he was charged with armed assault with attempt to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and warrants for larceny issued two days ago by Mashpee police.
Police had been searching for Stebbins since Monday, when he allegedly broke into his parents’ Mashpee home and stole a number of guns including rifles and a 9 mm Ruger he had when arrested.
Police later found the other guns in an apartment on Parker Road in Barnstable, rented by the restaurant manager who is friends with Stebbins. The manager was not charged.
Police had been warned by Stebbins’ family and friends that Stebbins had threatened to kill others and himself.
Stebbins was also arrested in 1998 when the Cape Cod Drug Task Force broke up a gun-selling scheme in Mashpee.
Stebbins, who supplied the guns to others for third-party sale, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffick in firearms. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in the county jail with 18 months to serve and the balance suspended with three years probation. He was released last November.
Police were told earlier this week that Stebbins was upset at facing a possible charge of probation violation. Details of the alleged violation were not released yesterday.
During the standoff, a counselor from the Nam Vets Association was brought to the scene at Stebbins’ request and was allowed inside the building to talk with him. Stebbins claimed in 1998 that he was an Army veteran, who served in Bosnia.
Stebbins also requested that his attorney Edward F.X. Lynch be brought to the scene.
Early yesterday morning members of the Cape Cod Drug Task Force and Barnstable police began crisscrossing Hyannis after being tipped that Stebbins was in town.
Three officers went to the KFC after learning someone there had placed a call to Stebbins’ family home at 8:45 a.m. But the manager told police Stebbins had already left.
Police returned within minutes after Barnstable Detective Brian Guiney spotted a car at the back of the KFC, which was similar to a rental Stebbins was known to drive.
This time the manager admitted to state police that Stebbins was in an employee restroom at the back of the building.
At 12:10 Stebbins began to emerge from the bathroom, but slammed the door shut and fired a round through the door, police said. It exited about 2 feet above floor level, ricocheted off the floor and went through a wall into a storage room.
Ten minutes later Stebbins agreed to surrender the gun. He slid the gun out, then emerged with hands raised a few minutes later.
But then he dropped his hands, and a member of the tactical team fired a beanbag at him. A golf ball-sized bag filled with sand and fired from a shotgun, the bean bag is a weapon used by tactical units when deadly force is not necessary.
“Getting hit with one of those is like getting hit with a Pedro Martinez fastball. It can hurt,” Damery said.
Hit in the right hip, Stebbins fell to the floor. After being handcuffed, he was taken to Cape Cod Hospital.
Record Number: 0F7B82986172B40E
Copyright, 2001, Cape Cod Times. All Rights Reserved.