Appleton police say situation involving gunman on church rooftop resolved

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) — Appleton police say a situation involving a gunman on the roof of an east side church has been safely resolved.

Police responded to calls in S. Matthias St. at 10:13 a.m. Thursday morning about a man pointing a gun at someone and then at himself. He then climbed to the roof of the parish church of Sainte-Bernadette on nearby rue Lourdes. He fired two shots into the air when police arrived but did not fire again and sat on the roof.

Lt. Meghan Cash said the 33-year-old was in crisis, “having a really bad day”. She says he continued a dialogue with negotiators that resulted in his safe surrender before 1 p.m. No one was hurt.

He was taken to the Outagamie County Jail where he will receive mental health services and additional resources, police said. Action 2 News does not identify him as he has not been formally charged. Cash said police knew the man from previous contact with him.

SWAT personnel from across Fox Valley secured a perimeter around the scene during the standoff. Johnston Elementary and Appleton East High schools were locked down and those nearby were asked to shelter in place. The location is near the Thompson Center in Lourdes, Options for Independent Living and a residential area.

While some officers took up positions behind squad cars and bushes, other officers fanned out to protect those nearby.

Lt Cash said: ‘Our officers were able to get into the church building as well as some of the other buildings in the area, so throughout the time the incident was going on people inside had a officer or officers with them to maintain that wherever they needed to be they were safe.

Sean O’Hagan, of Appleton, was waiting outside the church. “My wife works in construction as an employee with a dozen other teachers,” he told us. “She’s in there right now.”

“Pretty worried,” he continued. “Obviously someone is hurting. I hope it’s a win-win situation. Hopefully nobody gets hurt.

The article continues below the video

Police say the man had a mental health crisis

Police were assisted by Outagamie, Brown, and Winnebago county sheriff’s offices, Grand Chute and Green Bay police departments, Appleton Fire Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, and ambulances of Gold Cross.

The agents entered Sainte-Bernadette, which is a campus made up of several buildings. The police stayed with the people inside to ensure their safety.

Appleton Police Command and Tactical Unit responded to the scene.

Police respond to a tactical situation in Appleton. May 19, 2022.(WBAY)

Police respond to a man who pointed his gun at a person and then at himself before climbing onto the roof of a church

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.