A domestic violence incident took a tragic turn Monday that resulted in the death of one man and the blockage of the roads that lead to homes, the Gila Community College and other businesses for more than four hours.
At about 10:37 a.m., the Gila County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a domestic violence dispute in the 4-Star Mobile Home Park. When they arrived, they found that three of the people involved had departed in a vehicle. The deputies intercepted the vehicle near the intersection of Ice House Canyon and Six Shooter Canyon Road, according to the news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
Gila County Sheriff Lt. Keith Thompson said the driver and passenger in the front seat were women, and once they were out of the car, a deputy returned to remove the male passenger, Logan Jay Stadnick, 36, of North Dakota, from the back seat.
When the deputy reached for the door handle, he looked down into the car and saw the muzzle of a gun. “The deputy called out, ‘Gun, gun, gun!’ and retreated from the car,” Thompson said.
While Stadnick held officers at bay with his weapon, he maneuvered his way into the driver’s seat, and that was where he spent his last few hours before taking his own life.
According to Lt. Thompson, it is protocol for local law enforcement agencies to call in the Arizona Department of Public Safety Special Operations Unit in the case of a barricaded subject. Attempts were made to draw Stadnick out of the car by talking to him. “He was communicating with us,” Thompson said. The DPS unit also tried bumping the front and back of the car, which almost caused Stadnick to get out of the car, according to Thompson.
At about 2:30 p.m., Stadnick shot himself, and almost immediately after that, a distraction device that was being readied by DPS behind the car was deployed. Because the gunshot and the explosion occurred close to the same time, some residents assumed that an officer had deployed a weapon, but that was not the case, according to Thompson.
Sheriff Adam Shepherd thanked all of the responding law enforcement agencies – Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Globe Police Department and Tonto National Forest Service Law Enforcement – for their assistance during the incident. According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department, Globe Police and the Forest Service assisted with road closures and scene security.
Thompson said people sometimes question why local law enforcement agencies are unable to handle certain situations. “The reason we bring in the DPS is because we don’t have the tools they have,” he said. “Every agency is on the same page – to help preserve life and property.”
Janet Cline of Globe posted on Facebook that local law enforcement and the Fire Department helped her 95-year-old mother get out of her house and into the safety of an ambulance that took her out of the line of fire. “The man was right outside the front of our house with an AK15,” she wrote. (The Globe Miami Times has not confirmed the make and model of the weapon used). The police were also able to get Cline’s sister, the mother’s caregiver and brother-in-law out safely.
“Once again, thank you so very much to our law enforcement team and fire department, and especially to the patrolman who initially pulled over the suspect as his life could have been taken when he walked up to the window and saw the gun! It takes a very special person to do what they do on a daily basis,” she wrote.
The investigation is ongoing, and the Globe Miami Times will release more information as the Sheriff’s Office makes it available.
The Rest Are Rumors
There was no child held hostage, and no other weapons were fired, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Aimee Staten has worn several hats over the last few years, but she recently put on one of her more familiar caps after four years of working in nonprofits: That of a journalist. She has 14 years of experience in the news business as a reporter with eight of those years as the managing editor of the Eastern Arizona Courier.