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Man arrested after standoff with police

BY KATHLEEN FOX kfox@paducahsun.com

An early morning standoff between police and a Paducah man resulted in his arrest Wednesday.

Officers from the Paducah Police Department were called to the scene of an assault in the 1700 block of Harrison Street about 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to Robin Newberry, department public information officer.

She said during a gathering that night at his home, Thomas Wilkey, 56, of Paducah, allegedly assaulted a woman. After Wilkey was confronted by two people about the assault, an argument began.

Witnesses said Wilkey then got a shotgun from his bedroom, pointed it at the group and told them to leave his home. Police were called during the exchange.

When officers arrived, they found Wilkey standing in the doorway holding a long gun. He then barricaded himself inside the residence and refused to comply with orders from police to exit, according to Newberry.

Newberry said the department's MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, was deployed to the scene but wasn't used.

The vehicle was acquired for situations when officers receive confirmation that someone is armed. The MRAP allows police to be more mobile and get closer to a scene, while maintaining cover to ensure the safety of officers and residents, she said.

Paducah police's special weapons/tactics team, crisis negotiations team and bomb squad were all on scene. Team members talked to Wilkey through a public address system and used the bomb squad's robot to deliver a "throw phone," which he refused to answer, according to Newberry.

Police said Wilkey's girlfriend, who was also in the home, came outside during the standoff and was not injured.

Wilkey surrendered and was arrested about 8:20 a.m. He faces a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment and was taken to the McCracken County Jail.

Detectives from Paducah police searched inside the home following the standoff. The investigation is ongoing and other charges are pending, police said.

Harrison Street between 17th and 19th streets was closed to traffic after 4 a.m. and reopened before 9 a.m.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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