Ranburne road blocked

Authorities had blocked a road in Ranburne on Monday where neighbors said they'd heard gunshots.

A police officer fatally shot a man in Ranburne this evening after an almost nine-hour standoff between him and police.

Ranburne police Chief Steve Tucker said he was called around 10:30 a.m. to a home in the first block of River Road to check on a man whose wife thought he had killed himself.

After he arrived, Tucker said, the man shot at him. Tucker then called for backup.

“I just got on the radio and hollered, ‘shots fired’ and backed off.

Oxford police Chief Bill Partridge said his officers were called shortly after to the home, and tried to negotiate with the man through phone calls and a loudspeaker.

Partridge said the man fired nearly 20 shots at officers around 2:30 p.m., striking an armored vehicle and a robot.

Partridge said the man’s speech was slurred and he couldn’t understand what officers were saying, leading the chief to believe the man had been on some sort of narcotic during the standoff.

“He told us, and I believe he told them, that he was going to die today,” Partridge said, motioning to Tucker.

At around 5:15 p.m., Partridge said, officers fired tear gas into the home. Partridge said the man come out around 6 p.m. pointing a scoped rifle at officers.

According to Partridge, an officer fired once at the man, killing him.

Partridge declined to name the deceased man. Partridge said the incident will be investigated by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville State University Department of Forensic Science.

Authorities in Ranburne blocked part of Frank Ledbetter Memorial Drive, adjacent to River Road, during the incident.

Numerous law enforcement agencies from Calhoun and Cleburne Counties had surrounded the home by 5 p.m. A neighbor said they had been there since around 2 p.m.

Camryn Harris, who lives in the home next door, said she arrived at her house shortly before noon and heard what sounded like gunshots and someone screaming from the house.

Harris said she and her father were later asked by a SWAT team to leave their house for safety reasons.

Dozens of bystanders during the standoff set up lawn chairs in front of a nearby house and watched. Police ushered them behind the house around the time the man was shot.

Contact Staff Writer Mia Kortright at 256-235-3563.