Small Town 'Shocked' by Violent Standoff

It's not commonplace anywhere, but the size of Laingsburg, Mich. makes a lengthy, violent standoff even more of a shock to the people that live there.

"Laingsburg is a small town, obviously, nothing ever goes on here except sports and family fun stuff," said Dena Follen, who works at PDP's pizzeria downtown. "So something like this is surprising."

A ten-hour standoff ended with gunfire Friday morning. Police shot a 49-year-old Laingsburg man who had been holed up in his home with a rifle since 1:30 a.m.

The incident was the talk of the town. PDP's was buzzing all day with talk of what had happened, Follen said. "Some people even rushed to the downtown restaurant to catch the news.

"It's devastating for a small community to have this happen but I think the thing the big impact for people is that it can happen here," said Mayor Micheal Culpepper. "It's just a reality check that anything can happen anywhere and you should be prepared for it, you should know how to handle it."

The superintendent of Laingsburg Community Schools canceled classes for the day after talking twice with law enforcement. The decision not to bring kids and their parents into the city was an easy one, he said.

"When you factor in the health, safety, welfare of our students and staff, we always err on the side of caution," he said. "All school districts have a crisis plan and this is one of those moments where you're glad you have a good plan in place."

District employee Curtis Marr, who has lived in Laingsburg for 38 years, says it was the right decision after an event that he says will be talked about for a while.

"It's a shame, you don't want to see anything like this happen," he said. "It's a nice place to live, people are friendly and when something like this happens it's terrible."


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