Claremont man arrested following standoff

CLAREMONT, S.D. (APD Facebook Press Release) – At approximately 7:05 p.m. on June 11, Brown County Dispatch received a complaint from a female who reported that her father was intoxicated and that he had chased her and rammed her vehicle with his own.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of the assault (approximately 6 miles southwest of Claremont, SD). A sheriff’s deputy observed the male suspect enter a barn with a scoped rifle. There were also indications that the male had made statements regarding self-harm.

The Aberdeen Special Response and Negotiations Teams responded to the scene. The situation was treated as an armed barricade and at no time was there ever any indication that hostages were involved.

CS gas was deployed into two structures that the suspect may have inhabited at the time of the incident. With no response, law enforcement maintained a perimeter around the farmstead.

Officers from the Aberdeen Special Response Team and the South Dakota Highway Patrol Special Response Team searched the grounds of the farmstead on the afternoon of June 12. The suspect surrendered without incident and no injuries resulted from either the initial assault or the resulting arrest. Two firearms were recovered from the property.

Thomas Merrill Walker, age 53 of Claremont, was arrested and charged with (2) counts of aggravated assault / domestic and intentional damage to property.

The following agencies contributed manpower and/or resources that were vital to the successful outcome of this incident: Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation, Aberdeen Fire & Rescue, Brown County Emergency Management, Groton Police Department, and the Salvation Army (thanks for the lunches!)

We would also like to thank one very special Brown County resident who graciously allowed us to invade her yard for incident command.