01/02/2001

Suspect pulls gun
on sheriff, later gives up
[Russellville, AR]

The Associated Press
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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was published on Sunday, December 24, 2000
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Copyright (c) 2000, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.) -- A 17-year-old charged with capital murder grabbed a gun Saturday while meeting with Pope County Sheriff Jay Winters, and the standoff lasted into Sunday morning.

No one was hurt in the encounter in the sheriff's own office. The suspect, Vann Clark Tucker, gave up early in the morning, Winters said Sunday. "I don't know how exactly it came about, but he ended up with a weapon in the office," Winters said.

The sheriff said Tucker had asked to meet about his case. Winters said he saw Tucker about 8:30 p.m. but told him it would be inappropriate to discuss the evidence. Winters said he told Tucker that the questions would be better addressed to the youth's attorney. Then, Winters said, the teen-ager pulled a .22-caliber pistol.

"He never pointed the gun at me," Winters said. "He told me he wasn't going to shoot me."

Winters said Tucker wanted a handcuff key. "I told him to put the gun down; he told me to give him the key," Winters said.

As they talked, Winters made his way to the door and got out of the office. Alone in the office, Tucker found several other weapons. He gave up about 2:30 a.m., Winters said.

Tucker is charged in the Dec. 13 killing of Frederick Kain, 71, at Kain's home near Russellville.

Numerous agencies including state police converged at the sheriff's office and worked to end the standoff. Winters credited a team trained as hostage negotiators with helping persuade Tucker to surrender. Also, a minister who met with Tucker previously helped keep the situation calm

"I'm just thankful that everything came out OK," Winters said.

The sheriff said he would review his open-door policy. A meeting with prosecutors is tentatively set for Tuesday to discuss further charges against Tucker.

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