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Wilson County man surrenders after overnight standoff

Posted January 18, 2012
Updated January 19, 2012

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— A 13-hour standoff between an armed man and Wilson County authorities ended peacefully early Thursday when the man, who barricaded himself inside a home on Bloomery Road Wednesday afternoon, surrendered to deputies. 

Authorities with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department fired tear gas into the home around 5:45 a.m. Thursday, prompting the man's surrender. No one was injured, authorities said. 

Officers went to the house, at 5207 Bloomery Road, near the intersection with Packhouse Road, to serve an involuntary commitment warrant on Eric Radke around 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Radke came outside, fired a shot into the air and then went back inside.

He stayed there for more than 13 hours, causing concern among neighbors and his daughter, Kelly Radke, who said late Wednesday that she was concerned about what might happen if he didn't surrender peacefully. 

Kelly Radke told WRAL News Wednesday night that her father suffers from depression and drinks heavily. In numerous phone conversations with him during the standoff, Kelly Radke pleaded with her father to come out of the house. 

Earlier in the day Wednesday, Eric Radke had posted a warning on his Facebook page that he would harm anyone that came to the house, authorities said. According to that page, he is 44 years old and married. 

Two posts on his Facebook read: "i hate everybody and if u come 2 bmy houser im gonna shoot u [sic]" and "nobody is comin in my house no body [sic]."

Some neighbors were evacuated from the area during the standoff, Sgt. Wanda Samuel said, while many others were advised to stay inside their homes. Bloomery Road at Packhouse Road was closed while authorities were at the scene.

Samuel said late Wednesday that serving involuntary commitment warrants can often create unpredictable situations. 

"You really don't know, especially with IVC, you can't predict what's going to happen," she said. "They are considered to be, like, maybe having some type of mental issue, so therefore, once we respond, we take all precautions as necessary."


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  • brmyspots Jan 19, 2012

    See. It is possible for cops to eliminate a standoff with someone barricaded inside without anybody getting hurt. Did they explode his door? No. Did they throw in percussion grenades? No. Did they cowboy through the door shooting everything that moves? No. They did it in a way that left the man still alive and without endangering the police. Good job all around.

  • warbirdlover Jan 19, 2012

    So many of you folks are just plain evil. It is evident that this fella has mental issues and you carry on like he is taking the last penny out of your piggybank. What happened to compassion for your fellow man. Money don't mean a thing, if you don't have a heart for your fellow man. I myself have suffered fro Deprssion and it's no cakewalk. I take meds everyday for it and will have to do so for the rest of my life. Ya'll need to get a life beyond money.

  • joe-pa hanging with lucifer Jan 19, 2012

    "He'd probably been drinking that day as well. "

    No probably about it. Anyone that knows Eric are convinced the boy was sloshed once again since that was what he did everyday.

  • JAT Jan 19, 2012

    "44 years old and he types like a 5th grader." Actually, he types like most of the kids today which is sad, but I supposed I wouldn't type much better if my house were surrounded by cops, I'd barricaded myself in with a gun, and was facing commitment. He'd probably been drinking that day as well. My question would be why the heck did he think "oh, let me go post on Facebook". That's just plain odd.

  • nskenn Jan 19, 2012

    I would give credit to facebook for this one

  • mfarmer1 Jan 19, 2012

    He should pay the bill for the Wilson County Sheriff's Department, and the hotel bills for the evacuated neighbors.

  • haggis basher Jan 19, 2012

    "This shows one that contrary to the some that legal gun owners can also be crazy and violent.Why did the family keep him armed?"

    How could they stop him? Gun regulation is so lax in most of the US that even the State would have difficulty stopping him owning one until it was too late.

  • Jan 19, 2012

    "@brittandy Samuel is Deputy Wanda Samuel she is the spokesperson for the Wilson County Sheriff's Office"

    Yep, WRAL edited the story following my post to add that information.

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Jan 19, 2012

    I am surprised that this ended without bloodshed. When I left home this morning, the last thing I saw was his daughter talking on the phone with him and I thought to myself that they would have to kill him for this ordeal to be over. Thank the Lord that it ended without anyone having to lose their lives, especially the law enforcement personnel who had to handle this situation. I pray for them all the time. This could have been such a sad situation.

  • wildcat Jan 19, 2012

    A standoff...shows these kinds of people have mental issues. They need help and in this case I do hope the man get that help. Glad no one was killed or hurt.