Helena man engages in police standoff

Published 6:01 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Helena man barricaded himself inside his house with a pistol for four and a half hours Monday night, said Helena Police Capt. Tim Carter.

Donald Crowder, 36, got into an argument with his wife, which escalated into a domestic disturbance situation, Carter said. After his wife and two children left the house, he locked himself inside the house and fired one shot inside the house with his pistol.

Police arrived on the scene, in the 500 block of Bentmoor Drive, at around 10 p.m. A crisis negotiator began talking with Crowder, eventually persuading him to come out of his house around 2:30 a.m. At that point, Crowder was arrested and charged with domestic violence in the first degree, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and making terrorist threats.

While barricaded in the house, Crowder threatened to harm others in a way that constituted a terrorist threat, Carter said. He would not elaborate further.

“The incident is under investigation to a certain extent,” Carter said. “He’s been arrested, but we’re still looking into why he did what he did.”

No one was injured in the incident. Crowder is being held without bond in the Shelby County Jail.