Neighbors Speak Out About Gunman Shot and Killed in a Police Standoff

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis
By Michael Konopasek

November 13, 2010 Updated Nov 13, 2010 at 7:15 PM EST

LIGONIER, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - UPDATED: Neighbors say they believe gunman John Weldy snapped after he was issued warnings about property violations.

Those living on the 700th block of Smith Street in Ligonier say Weldy was at odds with the city over the mess in his front yard. It is littered with just about everything from a wheelchair to old car parts and machinery.

"I think they've been after him for quite a while to get it cleaned up," said neighbor Dave Alger. "It's kind of an eyesore. He might have took offense to [the warnings]," Alger added.

Another neighbor said there were signs of Weldy's problems just a couple days before the standoff.

"I could tell immediately he had some mental problems [when I spoke to him earlier this week]," said Byron Fought who lives down the block from Weldy's home. "[Weldy] said, 'boy they're out to get me,'" said Fought refering the the city.

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The investigation into a police action shooting at an armed stand-off that left a Ligonier man dead is just now beginning.

The Ligonier Police were called to the corner of Smith Street and Union Street in Ligonier around 2 p.m. Friday after reports of 73-year-old John Weldy standing in the middle of the road with a long rifle.

When officers asked Weldy to put the gun down, he then fired five to six shots at police, hitting a squad car, and then barricaded himself in his home.

"He did not listen to the commands that officers were given initially," said Ligonier Police Chief Bryan Shearer.

Reporter: "What was he saying to you guys?" Nothing," responded Shearer.

Police spoke with Weldy over a period of 45 minutes, resulting in an exchange of gun shots.

Weldy was fatally shot by officers.

"We tried to resolve this as peacefully as we could. Unfortunately it had to end the way it did," said Chief Shearer.

Some neighbors believe Weldy was angry for being ticketed about trash in his yard.

"We had prior communication with Mr. Weldy but at this time we're not going to comment on any of those situations and that's pretty much what we have to tell you at this point," said Chief Shearer.

INC will check with officials on Saturday, Nov. 13 in regards to the incident.




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