Standoff in Harmar Tuesday puts neighborhood on pause

Sheriff’s Office and Marietta police talk man out of home

MARIETTA — Law enforcement cordoned off the 200 block of Maple Street in Marietta Tuesday with guns drawn and tactical gear up.

But within an hour Larry Turrill, 58, of 212 Maple St., had peacefully surrendered and was taken to Marietta Memorial Hospital for evaluation without a shot fired.

The standoff included Marietta Police Department officers and those from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office after sheriff’s deputies were warned of safety concerns while trying to serve papers of a restraining order on Turrill.

“A family member told us not to try to go in because they believed he had a gun,” said Maj. Brian Schuck of the sheriff’s office as the shields and rifles emerged from deputies and MPD patrolmen surrounding the house.

Schuck and Chief Rodney Hupp, of the Marietta Police Department, directed neighbors and patrons of the Harmar Tavern around the corners on Franklin Street and Gilman Avenue.

“We have several convicted thefts and breaking and entering. And we also have a (temporary protection order) on …,” rang in a dispatcher to Schuck on his radio as the perimeter was tightened with additional vests, shields and guns brought in.

Schuck tried to reach Turrill on a loud speaker system while standing behind a vehicle for more than 15 minutes and between his announcements and MPD phone calls into Turrill’s apartment Turrill eventually exited his apartment building shirtless, with cordless phone in hand.

Following Turrill’s surrender MPD Capt. Aaron Nedeff explained why the area was evacuated.

“We tried to make phone calls to him to make contact but could not get him to answer so we evacuated the neighboring houses just based on that fear that there may be a weapon or he may be homicidal,” said Nedeff.

Turrill’s half brother and sister-in-law were on scene Tuesday and doubted the seriousness of the suicidal threats, but noted a history of criminal convictions.

And neighbors accused law enforcement of over reaction.

But Nedeff said further investigation as the block was cordoned off revealed Turrill’s threats were made Monday evening.

“We do have evidence of suicidal statements,” explained Nedeff. “(But) we searched the residence, there was no firearm in the residence.”

Harmar Elementary, Nedeff noted, was not locked down during the standoff.

“We knew he was contained,” said Nedeff. “We were making phone calls and could hear his phone going off. We evacuated the buildings nearby in case there was gunfire.”

The area was cleared of law enforcement by 11:45 a.m. following Turrill’s transport for evaluation by Marietta Fire Department’s squad.

Hupp said no charges related to the incident had been filed as of Tuesday evening.