Dispatch recordings of Friday Evansville standoff, shooting released


EVANSVILLE (WEHT) – The dispatch recordings of the standoff and shooting at Stringtown and Reis on Friday has been released. Authorities were trying to serve a felony drug warrant for Peter Russell, 43, when he led deputies on a chase before crashing into a squad car and a telephone pole. Russell began waving around a machete, policy say.

“We’re going to need to barricade. This guy has a machete and keeps reaching in his pockets,” a voice on the dispatch call said.

A neighbor captured video of what happened next. Officers were able to get a woman out of the car and have her walked towards her before placing her in handcuffs. But seconds later, deputies said Russell opened fire. Officials on the dispatch recording can be heard saying “shots fired.” Authorities returned fire killing Russell. One deputy suffered minor injuries during the incident.

A makeshift memorial with flowers and messages is now set up at the telephone pole where Russell crashed his car.

Russell has an extensive criminal record, and has served two stints in prison in the last five years. Russell was released in 2018 after serving 2 1/2 years for fraud and theft. He was first sentenced to prison in 2015 on a meth charge. Most recently, Russell had just completed a two-year work release program in June that kept him out of a third prison sentence.

The Evansville Police Department arrested Russell in late September, saying he was in possession of a gun at a local motel. Court records show Russell did not appear for a hearing on that case, leading to the warrant that police attempted to serve Friday.

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(This story was originally published on November 23, 2020)


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