Neighbors response to a 2-day long standoff outside of a local town

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Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Michael Bradford

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ill—Neighbors have been evacuated and roads are closed in the country outside a local community. Illinois State Police joined Johnson County Sheriff Deputies in an attempt to negotiate with the armed suspect. Police said no one has been hurt and they are thankful the incident happened in the rural country-side rather than a crowded town.

Deputies responded to the house on Old Cypress Road around 1:00 Saturday afternoon. The street between Jenkins Road and Wildcat Bluff Road is still closed.

It is usually calm and quite in the rural areas of Johnson County. But, that is not the case this weekend. Police have been engaged in a two-day standoff with an armed suspect on Old Cypress Road. Some neighbors have been evacuated, but the ones that have not said in their years of living in the country, nothing like this has ever happened.

Ronald and Floy Harner live just a few doors down from the site of this weekend's standoff. Floy said, "We've never had any problems out here and we've owned this place for 57 years."

Ronald said, "I was just told he was off his medicine and went haywire after he got off his medicine. I haven't talked to him in years, I just wave as I go by and he waves back."

Illinois State Police Officer Brad Lacey confirms the incident started with a domestic dispute.

Harner said, "I don't know what kind of medicine he's on, but it has to be a strong medicine to make him do that." Harner also said the man's behavior comes as a shock.

Harner said, "I couldn't believe it out of the guy...We knew him for years and we didn't expect anything like that."

They said despite the outcome they will say a prayer. "I just hope everything turns out okay for him because he really doesn't deserve to go to jail," said Floy.

The closest neighbor lives about 150-yards away from the standoff. Police said those neighbors that live close have been evacuated. WPSD Local 6 will continue to keep you updated with the latest information.

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