LISBON - A Monday night shooting incident outside a village bar resulted in a section of the downtown being closed for three hours before a SWAT team broke into the nearby apartment where the suspect was hiding.
Arrested was Alex Brauning, 27, Meadow Wood Drive, Salem, who was charged with using a weapon while intoxicated and resisting arrest. No one was injured, but additional charges are expected to be filed.
According to Police Chief Mike Abraham, Brauning had been thrown out of the Night Court bar for being too drunk and went to his pickup truck, which was parked in the alley next to the former barbershop on West Washington Street once operated by the late Gary Johnson.
Brauning is believed to have grabbed a .45-caliber Taurus semiautomatic handgun from his truck and returned to the Night Court parking lot, where he tried to re-enter the bar through the back door.
At the same moment, Mike Skidmore and Ethan Hood opened the door to leave, which is when Brauning reportedly fired a shot.
Abraham said Brauning stumbled over a tarp laying in the parking lot as he fired, causing the shot to miss Skidmore and Hood, who closed the door.
Skidmore called police at 12:33 a.m., and Sgt. John Hancock arrived in time to see Brauning run across Washington Street and up the outside stairway to an apartment located above the former barbershop.
Abraham said Brauning is a local shale gas worker, and the person renting the upstairs apartment is a co-worker.
Hancock and officer David Hilliard, assisted by Columbiana County sheriff's deputies who responded, cordoned off the area and waited for Abraham, who decided to close down Washington Street from Market Street to Beaver Street and seek assistance from the Columbiana County sheriff's special response team.
The SRT officers assembled at the county Emergency Management Agency, which was opened by EMA Director Luke Newbold to serve as a staging area for any planned assault.
After several failed attempts to contact Brauning and the apartment tenant, the SRT officers used a battering ram to gain access at 4 a.m. Brauning was found lying on the couch, and the renter was asleep in a bedroom.
While being arrested, Brauning became combative and resisted being handcuffed, police said, at which point he was shot with a Taser gun before being subdued.
Meanwhile, the handgun was found under a chair next to the couch. The weapon did not have a clip nor was any magazine found in Brauning's truck, leading Abraham to conclude that Brauning loaded the handgun manually. A single shell casing was found in the bar parking lot.
Abraham thanked Newbold and the sheriff's office for their assistance, explaining, "These types of situations can get sticky."
Brauning appeared in county Municipal Court on Tuesday, where a pretrial was set for Feb. 27.