Stand-off in Willard

UPDATED WITH VIDEO AND FULL STORY: Woman in critical condition after being shot in head; gunman takes his own life.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Oct 31, 2013


Update: 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Full story below.

A 19-year-old man’s family wept on the street in Willard after learning the young man shot a woman and then took his own life during a hostage situation at the Family Dollar store.

Pictures of the hostage standoff are posted HERE.

At a press conference following the three-hour standoff, Willard Police Chief Mark Holden said authorities are not clear on why Shawn Schuett entered the store about 5 p.m. Wednesday with a rifle and barricaded himself inside with two women.

“Our negotiator told him, ‘You’re only looking at a robbery charge if you come out right now.’,” Holden said. But, Schuett told the negotiator he didn’t want money.

At some point during the negotiations, Schuett asked police to bring him a chicken dinner from a Chinese restaurant, which authorities purchased but never had the chance to deliver.

“We did everything we could,” Holden said.

“It was a bad situation,” said city manager Brian Humphress, who also spoke briefly at the conference.

Police were first notified by a woman whom Schuett forced at gunpoint, with the rifle pointed to her chest, to drive him to the Family Dollar store, Holden said.

Several emergency calls about Schuett came into the dispatch center following the woman’s cry for help.

Schuett left the vehicle without incident, locked the store’s doors and began to pile shelves and other materials in front of the doors “to slow us down,” Holden said.

Agencies from across the state joined the local police department to assist, including Mansfield Police, Ontario Police, the Ohio State Patrol, Huron County Sheriff’s Office and Norwalk Police, but the situation unfolded quickly at the end with the loss of life.

After Schuett shot the victim and then himself, the other hostage ran out the back door of the store and notified police shots had been fired.

The OSP Special Response Team then blew out the front windows and officers entered the store to find the suspect deceased and the victim lying on the floor with the gunshot wound.

She was immediately transported by ambulance to Mercy Willard Hospital, but police had no information on her condition immediately after the situation ended.

The names of the victim and other hostage were also not released.

“This is all still under investigation...I’m sorry we can’t give out any more information right now,” Holden said.

During the three-hour ordeal, family members and townspeople gathered but were kept far away from the scene.

Firefighters and police alike warned the citizens they were in “the line of fire” and must keep back.

After the incident unfolded, Serena Shepherd, a family member of another woman who was looking after Schuett for the last year, tearfully recalled what a nice boy Schuett was.

“He really was a nice boy. He believed in God, but he had stopped taking his medication,” Shepherd said.

According to Shepherd, Schuett had been living in various homes throughout his youth before ending up at a residence on Egypt Road, just outside Willard where he was staying for the last year.

Willard Police said they had no prior run-ins with him and didn’t know what triggered the violence that shook the normally quiet city.

* * *

Update: 11 p.m. Wednesday Police chief press conference.

Willard Police Chief Mark Holden shared the following details while speaking with reporters tonight:

Sometime after 5 p.m., Shawn Schuett held a woman hostage in a car at gunpoint and demanded she drive him to Family Dollar in Willard. After arriving at the store, he quickly let that woman go and held two female store employees hostage.

At 5:18 p.m., Willard police got the call. Other law enforcement agencies, including a SWAT team, were called in. For the next three hours, negotiators tried to get Schuett to end the stand-off. At one point, he agreed to let them both go.

At 8:18 p.m., one of the female employees ran out a back door, yelling that the gunman was firing shots. At that point, authorities blew out the windows and burst into the store. In the back, they found the other female employee lying on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Schuett also was there on the ground, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot.

The female employee was rushed by ambulance to Mercy Willard Hospital. Her name has not been released.

* * *

Update: 10:20 p.m. Wednesday. More information has been released.

The hostage situation at the Family Dollar store on West Walton Street in Willard ended with a gunman taking his own life.

Former Mansfield resident Shawn Schuett, 19, of Egypt Road in rural Willard, was the gunman.

Prior to that, a female clerk was shot in the head, and she is in critical condition at a hospital. Her name has not been released.

More details will be released as soon as they become available.

* * *

Update: 9:55 p.m. Wednesday. Local law enforcement officers, including Willard police, Huron County Sheriff's deputies and state Highway Patrol troopers, have resolved the hostage situation at the Family Dollar store on West Walton Street in Willard.

Willard police are speaking with reporters at this moment, and more details will be released as soon as they become available.

* * *

Update: 8:51 p.m. Wednesday. A number of officers have reportedly left the scene, according to witnesses.

Also, it appeared possible victims were taken away by ambulance.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud "bang" or explosion about 8 p.m.

Law enforcement agencies are reporting a possible stand-off at a U.S. 224 business in Willard.

There are  reports that a man with a gun attempted an armed robbery at the business.

Reports from the scene have indicated the event might have started as an armed robbery attempt and escalated into what has now been confirmed as a hostage situation, though the exact number of hostages is not clear.

Willard fire personnel were moving onlookers away from the scene.

Keep checking back as details become available.


Pam Buckingham

I had heard the same thing about a baby being involved, but also heard from a close source that there was no baby was involved. If there was a baby involved and hurt, maybe it was a accident, we don't know any information at this time. Hoping no baby was involved,

Dont Worry Be Happy

An accident, seriously. He took a gun in that store and held people hostage.

Pam Buckingham

Not saying it was a accident, not saying it wasn't. None of us were inside that store while all this was going on. All I am saying is that they will investigate what happened here today. What I meant by accident was if the gun might have accidentally went off and hit someone. maybe there was a struggle at the end, we just don't know until all the facts of what happened here today come out. It was to my understanding that this was suppose to have been an Armed Robbery, not a kidnapping or hostage situation. Sounds like a bad situation going very, very wrong. Prayers to everyone involved.


Way to stick up for this piece of trash. People like you are part of the problem. I hate to tell you, guns don't just go off accidentally, it requires the pull of a trigger. Nonetheless, at least the taxpayers won't have to pay for a trial and his stay in prison. In the end, he did the right thing and administered the death penalty to himself.


Just was told that two people were shot, one is dead, and the other was life flighted. and shooter shot himself and is also dead. Yes reed was his name. Very sad day for Willard. My heart goes out to all


He may have family but there is NO excuse to shot someone else. If what I am hearing is true may he rest in hell.


are you positive on the name Pam?

Pam Buckingham

That was the name I was told, but the Mansfield paper is reporting that the guy was from Mansfield, so no I am not 100% correct. I have a good friend that is involved with the family, and they had told me that it was Reed, but I am not so sure now that I have read what the News Journal has reported. It was confirmed that they let him order his last meal from the Chinese restaurant in Willard, Fu Sing.




Yes I agree we as parents can only instill our values on our kids which means his parents may not have been there for him and as far as he goes may he rest in hell agreed


what business did this happen at?


Family dollar


It doesnt matter baby parent elderly young aunt uncle mother father grandma grandpa child cousin aunt uncle hes a MONSTER


Mansfield News Journal says his name is Shawn Schuett


Mansfield News Journal says his name is Shawn Schuett


Mansfield News Journal says his name is Shawn Schuett


A gunman is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after taking two employees hostage at a Family Dollar in Willard Wednesday night.
Willard Police Chief Mark Holden said the 19-year-old suspect shot one of the women and then turned the gun on himself shortly after 8 p.m. The shooting victim was alive at the scene and taken to the hospital, Holden said. Her condition is unknown at this time.
The suspect was from Mansfield, Holden said, and had been living outside Willard for a year or so.
Police received a series of 911 calls at 5:18 p.m. that the Family Dollar located on Walton Street West had been taken over by a man armed with a rifle.

Read more:


Mansfield News-Journal Report from Willard City Hall

Police say a 19-year-old Mansfield man took two employees hostage at the Family Dollar in Willard before killing himself Wednesday night.

Shawn Schuett shot one of the hostages before shooting and killing himself, police said. The hostages’ names and conditions were not immediately available.

Get your facts straight first!


Every time I see something like this happen I wish the shooter started with himself and not hurt others.
We have too many people who lack the morals and self respect that they should have been taught while growing up.


Very tragic, this world we live in is a scary place filled with desperate people. Hug your loved ones, because you never know what the day will bring. Prayers for all involved.


Exactly! Well said. Scary world out there.


just had it on the news.... his name wasn't reed


Maybe the people saying Shawn was such a great person should have been shot by him because I bet the person who did is thinking something else. There is no excuse for such actions regardless of circumstance. NONE! This is a perfect example of why people should carry weapons, concealed or open carry. Shoot one of these guys, or the drunks breaking in to homes in Norwalk and see if a change doesn't happen. I'm so tired of excuses...its time for results!


Absolutely no excuse to shoot and kill or attempt to kill anyone outside of self defense. Enough with the excuses. This guys a monster and a coward.


^ Agree 100% ^


Another damn coward! Had to shoot a innocent person or people then take his own life. Rot in HELL coward!!!!!!!!!!!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.




Gunman and one hostage dead per Toledo 11 News STORY:


City of Willard Twitter Page said that the hostage that had been shot, died of her wound in LifeFlight. RIP and keep family, friends, and community in your thoughts and prayers.