CENTRAL CITY — Police forceably removed a homicide suspect from what authorities believe to be his residence Friday after hours of negotiations.
Martin Paul Wilkinson, 63, was admitted to Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids for treatment of injuries that are believed to be unrelated to the standoff, according to Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.
The incident began around 8:30 a.m. Friday after authorities received a call from a neighbor on Janette Nehl Lane in rural Central City about a body lying in a yard.
Upon arrival, deputies found a man lying face down on the road, who was “obviously dead,” Gardner said.
“That’s when we realized there were clues that led us to a residence and perhaps the suspect,” Gardner said.
Officers warned neighbors to stay in their homes while a SWAT team was brought in to secure a perimeter around a home at 2567 Windy Hill Circle.
Authorities also brought negotiators in to try and speak with the suspect, later identified as Wilkinson, but Gardner said it became clear the man would not come out on his own.
Police blocked off much of the area, known as Muckersville, all day. Around 4 p.m., several popping noises suddenly rang out.
Gardner said that officers made the decision to use tear gas to force the suspect out of the home.
According to the sheriff’s department, when Wilkinson exited the home, he began to struggle with deputies. Gardner said a Taser had to be employed to get Wilkinson into handcuffs.
“Because of the chemical agent here and because of the policy reguarding the use of Taser, we have transported him, non-emergency, to be checked by a doctor,” Gardner said. He added that Wilkinson was the only person in the home at the time of the standoff.
It was believed there could have been several weapons in the home, according to people close to the suspect who spoke to law enforcmeent.
Gardner said he wasn’t able to identify what type of injuries the homicide victim had received. He did confirm the victim is a white, adult male. Authorities were still working Friday to notify his family of his death and expect to release his name around noon today.
Charges in the case are pending.