When negotiating and tear gas fail, K9 units end an 8-hour police standoff in Fairview with no casualties
FAIRVIEW—A man in Fairview has been arrested after creating a tense situation that kept police busy for several hours and put nearby Fairview Elementary school on alert.
After negotiation and tear gas failed to end an eight-hour police standoff with William Lamb, who had barricaded himself inside the home of his ex-girlfriend, tactical police sent in K9 units and were able to resolve the situation with no lives lost.
Lamb, 35, was apprehended at 12:45 p.m. on Monday.
According to Fairview City Police Chief Bob Bingham, Lamb had entered the Fairview residence, located at 200 North between 300 East and 400 East, at approximately 10 p.m. the night before. It was the home of Lamb’s ex-girlfriend—who had a protective order against him—and her children.
According to Bingham, the woman and her children were able to escape the house and Lamb’s threats. The family was able to evade Lamb, leave the house and call 911.
“They sort of slipped past him,” Bingham said.
After they left, Lamb barricaded himself inside the house. The man was unarmed, although there were weapons available in the house, Bingham said.
Bingham said he got the call for an emergency response at 5 a.m. Around 6 a.m., Bingham put in a call for tactical police units from Utah County to lend support.
Along with the out-of-county tactical units, local law enforcement began gathering to help resolve the situation, using an old mill west of the barricaded residence for a staging area. Tactical police units carrying submachine guns, assault rifles and long-distance sniper rifles could be seen patrolling the area and hiding in various vantage points. Police evacuated nearby houses.
Meanwhile, at Fairview Elementary, the school was put on “soft” lockdown, which Principal Allynne Mower described as more of a shut-in than a lockdown. Studies continued, but under a higher security protocol.
“We began gathering students inside as they arrived immediately in the morning,” Mower said. “We locked the classroom doors and the building perimeter doors.”
Mower said law enforcement had been communicating with school administration from very early in the standoff. Parents were allowed to pick up their children if they wanted, and students could move about between their classrooms, the computers and the lunch room.
School Resource Officer Greg Peterson and Principal Mower escorted students in outdoor classrooms between the main school building and their locked outdoor classrooms. Recess was held indoors, in the school gym.
“Our faculty was fantastic through it all,” Mower said. “They didn’t make a big deal about it. The children who saw the police when they walked to school that morning came to school with questions, but we were able to have a conversation with them and alleviate their worries. We explained to the children that the police were doing their job protecting them, and we needed to support them and let them do their job while we study.”
Police at first tried to talk to Lamb .
“We absolutely tried to negotiate his surrender,” Bingham said, before police had to move to stronger tactics.
Michael Brown, 19, of Mt. Pleasant, observed the standoff, using his phone to film and photograph the standoff and upload the photos and video to Facebook. Brown says he heard loud bangs before noon, which turned out to be gas grenades with which police hoped to flush Lamb out of the building.
The gas didn’t work, so police decided to send in K9 units, at which point Lamb surrendered and was led away handcuffed and shirtless.
Upon apprehending Lamb, camouflaged tactical police units could be seen materializing as if out of thin air from concealed locations around the neighborhood.
With Lamb in custody, neighboring families were allowed to return to their homes, and the street, which had been blocked off, was opened to traffic once again.
Instead of being taken directly to Sanpete County Jail, Lamb, escorted by the Sanpete County Sheriff’s deputies, was transported by ambulance to Sanpete Valley Hospital for medical care.