Madison police responded to reports of several shots fired on the city’s East Side Sunday and subsequently engaged in a standoff with an armed man that lasted nearly nine hours and ended in the man suffering a drug overdose.
A 35-year-old man, identified by Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain as Eric J. Day, fired at least six shots from outside and inside a duplex before being removed from the home by officers, according to Lt. Timothy Strassman.
The incident began at approximately 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning at 3570 Ridgeway Ave., which online records show as Day’s residence. Officers secured the area upon arrival and noted that shots were still being fired, according to Strassman.
After about 45 minutes, Day’s girlfriend exited the home safely, and about 90 minutes later a neighbor also left from the other side of the duplex.
At 7:45 p.m., DeSpain confirmed that the threat to the neighborhood was over and that Day was being treated by Madison Fire Department paramedics after suffering an apparent drug overdose. No one else was harmed in the incident.
“We’re very happy that we were able to resolve the situation peacefully, with no officers injured and with no injury caused by officers to this individual,” DeSpain said, according to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Police Chief Mike Koval noted in the State Journal article that police worked during the standoff to make sure the shooter knew they did not intend to hurt him.
“Our experience has been that when you take the time and make the effort and show nothing that is going to be threatening to the person, that hopefully, calmer, clearer heads can prevail,” Koval said.
Day has a history of run-ins with police, records show. In September, he was charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm, and in 2004 he was involved in an armed standoff with police in the village of Oregon.
Koval said he believes Day’s depression was a catalyst for the incident.
“When you are despondent or depressed, it’s difficult to understand what your options are and that there are options,” Koval said.
Information on Day’s condition is not available at this time.