Armed Man Arrested after Standoff - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 02/05/07

Armed Man Arrested after Standoff

By David Kenney

There were tense moments in a Jackson neighborhood Monday as an armed man threatened police with two weapons, leading to a standoff that lasted over two hours. 

Police say they've now determined the man is mentally unstable, which may explain his actions. He was taken into custody without incident.

The man who held police at bay, 25 year-old Wilbert Ranson, is now in custody facing two misdemeanor charges.  He was finally taken into custody after surrendering his weapon.

Swat teams moved and a perimeter was set up as the armed man waved a gun and a giant knife wildly in his yard.

The standoff was like something out of a movie, and the whole neighborhood was there to watch.

Sargeant Jeffrey Scott says, "He did have a weapon. We believe that weapon was fired prior to police being dispatched to this address."

Ranson showed no immediate signs of backing down to the officers who had surrounded him.

He strolled in and out of the back door of his home, yelled obscenities, and claimed that the handgun he was holding was not loaded. At one point he pointed the gun right at WLBT cameras.

Investigators say Ranson's mental condition is to blame for his erratic behavior.

Scott told reporters afterwards, "His mother says he has been taking some type of prescribed meds."

Unable to approach him, hostage negotiators contacted Ranson by cellphone. But those talks didn't go so well.

Scott says, "He apparently made threats to our hostage negotiators."

Shortly after noon, swat team members rushed in, after Ranson set the gun and knife on the ground. He's charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, just misdemeanor charges.

Ranson will undergo a mental evaluation before he is released.

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