A Verona man is facing an attempted capital murder charge and gun charges after a dramatic standoff Tuesday morning.
The Augusta County Sheriff's Office says the standoff with police started at a home on Midvale Drive around 2:15 a.m., and lasted over six hours. The suspect, 67-year-old John Powell, would not come out of the home. It took ongoing efforts like bringing in a SWAT team, throwing gas canisters through windows, and negotiating over a loudspeaker to get him to come out peacefully around 8:45 a.m.
There’s now a single bullet hole through the front door of Powell's home. Police say, after they deployed gas into his home, Powell repeatedly threatened police and even fired at the armored tactical vehicle through his door.
No one was hurt, but neighbors were very concerned.
"I started hearing I guess a vehicle moving. So and it was the SWAT truck and they were going into the yard...It was a very confusing time. I didn't really know what was going on at first,” said Sarah Debto, who lives across the street from Powell’s home.
Debto also has concerns about her community because several homes down from her is where a shooting that ended in another attempted murder charge - against Jerome Jones - happened last winter.
Powell has been taken to Augusta Health for a psychological evaluation. The reason police were there in the first place was to issue an emergency custody order, due to concerns about Powell’s mental well-being.
Augusta Count Sheriff’s Office Press Release
At approximately 2:19 am, the Augusta County Sheriff's office responded to 41 Midvale Drive, Verona, to serve an Emergency Custody order in response to a citizens concerns regarding the welfare of John Allan Powell. While attempting service a standoff with Mr. Powell ensued. Sheriff's Office Negotiators made contact with Powell however Powell refused to come out of his residence and further stated he was armed with an automatic rifle.
At approximately 08:19 hours the state magistrate re-issued an Emergency Custody Order, the original order had expired, for Mr. Powell. Negotiators were unable to re-establish contact with Mr. Powell.
The Augusta County Tactical Team approached Powell's residence in an armored vehicle and introduced gas into the residence. During the deployment of gas, at approximately 08:36 am, Powell fired a single shot through the front door of his residence toward the Tactical Team's armored vehicle. Shortly thereafter, Powell emerged from the residence and was taken into custody without incident at approximately 08:42 am.
A single bullet hole was located in the front door of the residence. Seven weapons were retrieved from the home. Mr. Powell was transported to Augusta Medical for evaluation; criminal charges for Attempted Capital Murder and Discharging a Firearm or Missile will be placed against Mr. Powell.