Village police arrested an Ilion man following a standoff that lasted over two hours Wednesday, after he holed himself up inside his residence and made references to the Mohawk Valley shooting spree in March.
William “Billy” A. Buchanan, 36, was wanted by police on an arrest warrant for assault when police said he entered his residence at 78 West Clark St. and refused to come out.
According to a news release from the Ilion Police Department, Buchanan “while on the run made several references to Kurt Myers and stated he had intentions to copycat Myers if approached by law enforcement. Buchanan also made several statements that he was not going back to prison.”
Myers was the shooter who left four people dead in Herkimer and Mohawk and two others injured on March 13. He was killed during a shoot-off with police on North Main Street in Herkimer the following day.
Police said the standoff started around 4:37 p.m. Wednesday, when several neighboring residences were evacuated. This included other residents at the multi-dwelling unit at 78 W. Clark St.
One of the other residents at 78 W. Clark St. talked about his experience.
“I was sitting at my round table outside, and I got my music going when I hear a ‘click-click,’” Gary A. Beaucharnois said on Wednesday.
Beaucharnois said he then saw police approaching.
“I thought, ‘What the hell is going on,’” he said.
Several streets in the vicinity were closed, including Grant and West Clark streets and a portion of West Street. The standoff occurred across from London Towers apartments and residents there were asked not to approach the scene. The incident, however, did attract several bystanders who watched from the grounds at London Towers.
Ilion police called in the department’s special response team and its crisis negotiator to handle the situation.
“He was reluctant to turn himself in because he knew he was going to be arrested and would be incarcerated,” said Capt. Laurie DeVaul during a telephone interview on Thursday. “When he realized the police were out front, he was afraid and expressed concerns about that. We assured him we were there to keep him safe, as well as everybody else in the area and that we were looking for a peaceful surrender, and he complied.”
No weapons were found on Buchanan at the time of his arrest.
DeVaul said Buchanan had referred to Myers before Wednesday’s standoff, which is why police were concerned about the incident.
“We have to handle every call seriously, that in the event that threats have been made, that we protect ourselves and people nearby,” she said.
Buchanan was arraigned in Ilion Village Court on the assault charge and was remanded to Herkimer County jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond.
Page 2 of 2 - He was also charged with violating his probation in a charge filed by the Herkimer County Probation Department.
DeVaul said Buchanan is not facing any additional charges through the village at this time.
The Mohawk and Town of Frankfort police departments and the Ilion Fire Department assisted Ilion police.