PELLA – Pella Police are giving more details to the public after a 26-hour standoff that ended late Wednesday.
The man who barricaded himself in an apartment on W. 16th Street for hours is named Jonathan W. Martin. He’s from Galena, Illinois. Upon further investigation, Pella police officers learned that Martin was a fugitive from Illinois, and was wanted on felony charges with nationwide extradition. Officers attempted to establish contact with Martin, but multiple efforts were rejected.
After several hours of a standoff, a female inside the apartment with Martin was released. She was not harmed. Around 6:30 p.m., Pella officers learned that Martin had shot himself in the apartment.
Pella Police are exhausted. They were at the apartment complex for more than 24 hours, handling the standoff situation. Local 5 spoke with the police chief, who says it took a lot of effort to keep the community safe.
“These types of incidents, in one way shape or form, are what you sign up for,” said Pella Police Chief Robert Bokinsky.
Chief Bokinsky says officers go through intense, scenario-based trainings to get ready for situations like the one they faced this week.
“Doesn’t happen every day in Pella,” Chief Bokinsky said. “This is the first time it’s happened in Pella in probably a very very long time, but you always have to prepare for it, just in case.”
Officers got to the apartment Tuesday evening, after someone called saying a man inside could be dangerous. Negotiators and a tactical team with the Iowa State Patrol eventually came to help.
“We don’t want people to get hurt in these incidents, that’s the objective, keep everybody safe, and if it requires a lot of assets to do that, that’s what you exercise,” Chief Bokinsky said.
A woman inside the same unit agreed to leave, but Martin stayed inside, where he was later found dead. Police say he had what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. People who saw everything unfold are still shaken up.
“Swat team going to the door and you know all the law enforcement,” said Dustin Carter, who still vividly remembers everything that happened the past couple days in Pella.
Carter works at the restaurant next door to the apartments. He says he is thankful that police responded in full force.
“They fired tear gas into the windows and still nothing,” Carter said. “I felt like they did everything they possibly could, I mean they didn’t just run into anything, they were out here on the bullhorn for hours, it was all day they were trying to get him to come out.”
Now that the standoff is over, police are refueling for another day on the job.
“It is tiring on your body, you just try to keep your head clear and stay awake,” Chief Bokinsky said.
Martin’s body is now headed to the State Medical Examiner’s office. The scene and incident was turned over to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Pella Police Department Criminal Investigations for evaluation and further investigation.