courtesy of Howell County Newsphoto provided

Subject of Willow standoff dies in West Plains

Shawn Clark, 34, was found dead after, “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot,” announced West Plains Police on May 15. Clark had been at large and considered armed and dangerous since the evening of May 13 when law enforcement responded to a Willow Springs home for reports of an armed man firing shots and endangering a woman and child. A joint response from Howell County’s SWAT and Willow Springs Police Department saw the woman and child rescued unarmed within an hour.
 
Clark escaped the perimeter, as previously reported by Howell County News. Willow Springs Police Department did not use their newly acquired MRAP for this call because setting up a perimeter was of the utmost importance, said Assistant Police Chief Alan Lewis. The SWAT team was equipped with shields that allowed them to make an approach to the house to rescue the woman and child, added Chief Wes Ellison. Spending the time to retrieve the equipment was not the right choice in this situation, Lewis said. 
Clark did manage to escape the perimeter. 
 
On May 14 shortly before 7:00 p.m., West Plains Police received an anonymous tip regarding Clark’s whereabouts. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the residence on Davidson Street in West Plains. Several shots were fired toward officers from inside the residence, reports Howell County Sheriff’s Office. One man and one woman were evacuated from the residence, and Clark remained barricaded in the attic alone and armed.  
 
“Over the course of several hours, negotiators with the West Plains Crisis Response Team made contact with Clark and encouraged him to exit the residence,” reads a release from HCSO.  “Several less lethal methods were attempted, and Mr. Clark refused to exit the residence. West Plains SRT and Howell County SWAT eventually made entry into the residence, where Shawn Clark was eventually located deceased in the attic, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
 
The same report says law enforcement officers fired no shots in the incident. 
 
 
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