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.



To the Shawn supporters, he deserves every one of the trash comments. That poor girl did nothing wrong other than show up for her shift to work. This mad man comes out of no where and wreaks havoc then ultimately ends her life? Let them say what they will about him, he deserves every word.


to OK WTF I suggest you get your facts straight on the hostage who was killed.


I stand corrected, my apologies. RIP Kim Kelly


his name was shaun schewitt he changed his last name to reed a few months back because that was his biological fathers last name who are you ppl to judge anyone god is the judge im not saying it wasnt a horrible thing that took place to innocent people (the victims) no one knows what has really happened or what set him off and it wasnt right but people shouldnt be bashing him he to has family that had no control over this you should also think of their feelings as well it is a very sad situation n lives where taken for no reason as a community we need to pray this generation is a whole different thing then 20 yrs ago i pray for everyone envolved and there families god comfort them all come together as a community instead of talking so bad about people no one knows shauns life or what he was going thru im not saying it was right im just saying we are not to judge god please help all these families get thru this very difficult time.


I am sorry, but it is attitude likes this that will empower others to commit these types of crimes. "If I kill myself other will feel sorry for me." "They will know that I am hurting inside and they will wish that they had helped me" This attitude is total bullshit. He shot another person we should not excuse his actions for any reason at all. His family should be ashamed of what this man has done and should denounce his actions just as others have done here on these pages.


I've had plenty of difficult times in my life, not once have I thought of killing someone else to ease the pain. Gotta love they enablers on here. No wonder our country is falling apart.


Also let me add that if we would start identifying people before they do these kind of things. If there was anyone who had knowledge of this guys problems and did not do anything they should be held accountable too. "If you see something, say something" should be our mantra everyday.


Really tired of the "Who are you to judge, only God can judge". Did this piece of work go to church? Did he follow God's word? Did he follow the bible? Was he a Good Christian? If you answered YES to ANY of these questions......WHY ON GODS GREEN EARTH did he kill someone one, or kill himself.....those 2 actions mean he will burn in Hell. Murder is a SIN. Suicide is a SIN. So. Take your GOD. And your Judgment and save it for another day. With so much SIN in one place it really does not hold much weight here.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Pictures on here ALWAYS suck! So many duplicates! Put some effort into your job!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Even on my worst day, I have never thought of going and KILLING someone else to make me feel better. I will never understand trying to make EXCUSES for someone that does this. YES he has a family, YES he had issues, YES he was sick, whatever, there are people just like him all over America, that do NOT KILL PEOPLE. Stop making excuses for it. This is why it happens more and more. Others see it and thin, Oh maybe I can do it too and others will understand and feel bad for me too! Stop the excuses, stop the madness!


All of you people sticking up for this piece of S**T are pathetic. You will come on this story and send your prayers to him and his family that should be insulted by his actions for them to find piece and joy or whatever. Why don't you go to the young man's story that was killed in Qatar and send prayers to him and his family? He and his family are the ones that disserve the thoughts and prayers, not this piece of garbage. Let him rot in a place worse than H*ll..He took an innocent life and now he should get a soft shoulder? Screw him. My prayers go out to the one that disserves them. The hostage that was taken to early because of some rotten piece of subhuman flesh. So now all the people that are sticking up for him and his "problems" can come and tell me how I didn't understand him and BS like that..don't bother..all it will be is a bunch of spluge out of your pathetic hole in your face. Shut up. Tired of all the victems getting the shaft and all the pieces of horse dung getting treated like wonderful people. Let all the heroin heads, nutcases like this and whoever else doesn't want to be a decent citizen to go ahead and take YOURSELF out of the gene pool. That is one thing I wouldn't mind my tax dollars going for..your burial...better than supporting you the rest of your life..


Thoughts and prayers go out to all families involved.


Know -it -all "expert" guy on video:

" The hostages ain't gonna get shot"

Guess he didn't know as MUCH as he thought!

Playing too much paintball doesn't qualify people to comment on a real life hostage situation.

And if you don't have sniper training - shut the hell up. Interviewing these people on the street is a waste of time.

I feel bad for the lady who was shot ( and now has died) and her family.

The shooter and his lowlife buds on here defending him can all go rot in HELL!

Enough said.


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

Good to know he believed in God. Doubt that is going to help him while the worthless piece of shit rots in hell.

proud mother of 3

This is horrible, that 2 families have to deal with this yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What's worse is that there are people who would rather make jokes and slam people on here than having empathy and pray for our fellow man. These families have been tore up in a matter of a few hours, and NONE of them deserved any of it! I do not know any of these people, what I do know it hurts my heart that we have these kind of headlines in our communities. Comments such as what is posted on here is not what is needed in our communities, and I am ashamed that my neighbors have such vicious mouths and disregard!


Lots of new information in this story from Tiffin-


This video is disturbing. Here you have a guy who says that the PD should have taken out this guy when they first saw him in the window. Really? Not knowing if there was a second or third accomplice, you simply cannot take those chances. Its always easy to be a sidelines judge and jury and say you would have done this or that, but when faced with a situation like this, without knowing all the facts, the WPD did the absolute best that they could have.


I agree however, how could the whole situation fail any worse than it did?
A hostage calls 911 repeatedly for help & the dispatch "thinks its a prank" and tells her she'll be arrested for pranking if she keeps calling 911!?! Finally help arrives and she escapes but then 2 hours pass and everyone's dead :( Maybe swift deliberate action instead of negotiation and allowing the shooter to basically run the show might be a different tactic w/ different results. At least he didn't get the chicken he demanded. So sad and frustrating for everyone!


To mofrigga first of all u have no right to say anything about the reeds we had nothing to do with this at all and be for u call people loser u better take a look at your own family before u talk about others


After reading other news websites I feel that the ball was dropped and that this could have ended differently. This is all to sad to be happening here in Willard.


And I am not by all means supporting what he did.he was an low life but he was not even a reed so people have no rite to put the reeds in this mess.and I fell bad for the woman that got shoot. And he should have got worse than to take the easy way out.


It takes a loser to talk about someone's whole family just cause one person in that family does something like this. You are a real winner instead of helping the woman family.all u can do is talk trash about people who had nothing to do with this what does that say about u

free and clean 2 yrs

people on here saying is family needs to be ashamed.. really? He was on medication. They cant do anything about his mental illness. It is horrible what happened but to put shame on a family that was other wise eating dinner at the time.. had no idea he would come to this. It is a horrible situation and Im so sorry for the victims. Ive also read on here that comments like these will make others do the same thing looking for attention.. all i have to say to that... Is that sean was a good quiet guy. Ive been around him more than a couples times through a mutual friend. His personality did NOT show indicators that anything was really wrong. when he was on his medication he would your average guy. what if your brother nephew cousin was on medication, stop taking it, and then something horrible happened. Its not the families fault. This is just horrible


first, re-read my post, I said his familiy should be ashamed of what he has done I did not say shame on his family for what he has done. There is a big difference there. Second, he was NOT a good guy. Good guys do not take people hostage and kill them. He was a bad guy, a very bad guy, you may not have seen it but he is a bad guy and has done a very bad thing and we should not treat him in any other way than a bad guy.

Everyone is fam...

Good guys don't take hostages and kill people. He obviously had a dark side. People quit taking their meds all the time and they don't MURDER. Quit calling him a good guy. It's insulting to the family who lost an INNOCENT family member.

Everyone is fam...



For future reference,

III. Investigation and Operational Standards

3.2 Police operating procedures

Article 82 - Hostage taking


Hostage taking

Hostage situations are one (1) of the most stressful and difficult police operations. There are many schools of thought concerning hostage situations, including whether a person can effectively be "talked out" of holding hostages and giving up peacefully to those who advocate maximum immediate force.

While every hostage situation is the same, the following are the essential elements that are common protocol for all hostage situations.

(1) Establish some secure line enabling contact with the hostage take

Whether it be by phone, by mobile phone or some other means, establish a reliable means of communication with the hostage taker;

(2) Seek to establish as fast as possible a profile of the hostage taker

(i) If it is the outcome of a failed crime, then there are possibilities of reducing the situation;

(ii) If it is the outcome of a domestic dispute, there are tell tail warning signs of a situation fast collapsing;

(iii) If it is a person seeking suicide by police, there are also warning signs;

(iv) if it is an escaped fugitive;

(v) if it is a terrorist.

(3) If the profile indicators a strong desire for media attention - immediately place a ban on all televised and reported footage of the event

(4) If the hostage taker is a violent person, who has already injured, continue to negotiate but use any opportunity to shoot to kill


not trying to bash family but if the familys so good why did it say he had live in numerous homes. im sorry i find hard to call someone a good guy who cold blood murdered a woman just doing her job. also seems a coverup already underway its funny norwalk paper seems me leaveing lots out tiffen reporting lot more. a good guy dont tell women hes gonna kill them put there pics on facebook