From Staff Reports
Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer recently praised the actions of sheriff’s department personnel, who, in conjunction with Missouri Highway Patrol personnel, ended an Oct. 6 armed standoff in Bloomsdale without injury.
That day, 64-year-old Leonard Herman Burst locked himself in a relative’s home with a gun. A four to four and a half hour standoff ensued.
The situation began about 3:30 that afternoon when a deputy and a Missouri Division of Health and Senior Services employee responded to a report of elder abuse at a residence.
Burst met a deputy at the door with a handgun and threatened to shoot if he entered. Everyone but Burst was removed from the house before a long standoff began that shut down Highway 61 and led several neighbors to be asked to leave their homes.
“I feel like we handled it well because it was a situation where it could have ended with somebody getting hurt,” Stolzer said. “I think the time was taken and the care was taken to make sure that we’d be able to resolve it without having to hurt this guy.
“After four hours or however long it was, we were finally able to get him outside to where we could end it without hurting him.”
Later, Burst was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and third degree felony assault on a law enforcement officer. He paid a $50,000 cash bond to get out of jail.
“It was handled great,” Stolzer said. “Whether you’ve got a mental problem or not, when you’ve got someone with guns and threatening to kill people, things come out bad sometimes. In our case, it didn’t have to.”