Original article no longer available
The Flyer Group
By Cynthia Fugate, Flyer Staff Writer
October 17, 2003
BROWNSBURG — A 45-year-old woman kept police at bay for more than five hours Oct. 14, after barricading herself in a closet of her Brownsburg home.
Brownsburg Police Lt. Jeff Gray said authorities were called to a home in the 200 block of East Main Street after receiving a 911 call from the woman. When officers arrived, he said they found the back door to the home open and JoAnn Stephens barricaded in a closet with several weapons, including .380-caliber and .45-caliber semi-automatic handguns which were loaded, at her side. After she fired one shot, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) was activated.
At least one business was closed and some area residents voluntarily left their homes when the perimeter of the house was secure and a command post had been established just off Main and Jefferson streets.
Brownsburg Patrolman Ben Pyatte, the first officer to respond on the scene, had been talking to the woman when a police negotiator arrived. Because Stephens seemed to respond to Pyatte, the negotiator fed him suggestions on how to talk her into relinquishing the weapons.
A counselor was also brought to the scene to assist Pyatte.
Gray said it is believed the woman had been on medication for depression. This was the second 911 call Stephens had made to police in as many weeks, the first saying she believed someone was in the basement of her home.
Her husband was on a trucking route in Texas, Gray said.
Gray said the standoff came to an end when Stephens walked out of the closet holding a weapon, forcing police to shoot her with “less than a lethal round” of ammunition.
“She came out of the closet with a gun in her hand and was shot by the ERT team with a rubber bullet,” Gray said.
The bullet struck Stephens’ left side, but did no real damage, Gray said.
She was transported to Hendricks Regional Health in Danville where she was treated and released into the custody of police.