Standoffs with law enforcement often involve a complex set of circumstances that are not always clear during the course of events. Authorities suspect that a Missouri man who leveled a shotgun at them last month may have been experiencing severe emotional distress, which may is probably what led him to aim a high-powered firearm at them during a standoff late last month. He now faces a range of criminal charges related to the weapons crimes for which he is accused.

Local law enforcement officers arrived at the man's home after he threatened to commit suicide. At the time police arrived, he had a shotgun in his possession. When they attempted to talk to him, he refused to cooperate.

Officers said that he eventually fed a shell into the shotgun he was holding, pointing the weapon at five deputies who were present. The man started to walk down the hallway with the shotgun aimed at the deputies, according to court documents. When one of the deputies attempted to take the shotgun away from the suspect, he heard a shot and decided to return fire.

The suspect was shot, and he was transported to a hospital for treatment after the incident. In addition, a deputy had superficial wounds and bruising, potentially from shotgun pellets, according to police.

The 32-year-old man was charged with five counts of attempted assault of a law enforcement officer in connection with the incident. He also is charged with one count of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon, according to official reports. Before moving to the area, he had a short criminal history.

This is a very complicated case that involves a lot of difficult facts for the defense and prosecution to sort through. Based on the reason the cops were called to the scene, the man was not in a healthy mental state. If he were not in such an anxiety-ridden situation, he may not have acted the way he did. In a moment of desperation, he chose to escalate a standoff with police. The accused man's overall mental health at the time of the incident is a factor that could play a major role in the forthcoming criminal trial.

Source: St. Louis Today, "Troy, Mo man charged in standoff with Lincoln County deputies," Valerie Schremp Hahn, May 10, 2012