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Standoff ends in Randolph County

MONTROSE -- A 29-year-old man who allegedly shot four police officers during a standoff was arrested early Tuesday without incident after authorities lobbed tear gas into his farmhouse.

During the 13-hour standoff, Scott Ennis exchanged hundreds of gunshots with police, Randolph County Prosecutor Earl Maxwell said Tuesday. Ennis was arrested about 8 a.m. by a special State Police team, four hours after they fired tear gas into the two-story residence in Montrose.

"To my absolute amazement, given the fireworks I saw and the damage to the scene, they arrested him basically unhurt," Maxwell said.

He said Ennis suffered a bloody nose and was taken to Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins where he was in stable condition, a spokeswoman said.

Three of the officers were also in stable condition at the hospital. The fourth was treated at the scene and remained on duty.

The standoff began Monday evening after 12 police officers went to the farmhouse to serve search and domestic battery warrants. The search warrant stemmed from Ennis' alleged involvement in Sunday's shooting of a Buckhannon police officer.

Cpl. Keith Rowan was shot after he tried to pull Ennis over for speeding. He was hit in the face with bullet fragments and was treated and released from a Buckhannon hospital Sunday.

Maxwell said the domestic battery warrant involved a prior incident.

"They determined he was there and he might be resistant to being arrested, so they took precautions," he said. "The officers fell into a situation that is the worst nightmare for an officer."

Police in a helicopter had spotted a white pickup truck matching the description of the vehicle involved in Sunday's shooting at the residence.

When police approached the house, Ennis allegedly opened fire, hitting one officer. The other officers were injured during the ensuing exchange.

Because of the sporadic gunfire, police used a fire truck as a shield as they removed the wounded officers from the scene, Maxwell said.

The wounded officers are Chief Deputy John Channell of the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Deputy James Westfall of the Upshur County Sheriff's Department and Patrolman Mark Stewart of the Buckhannon Police Department, the Elkins Inter-Mountain reported Tuesday.

Officials declined to release the name of the fourth officer, an Elkins police officer. He was wounded by shrapnel, but his injuries weren't serious, a spokeswoman for the Elkins Police Department said Tuesday.

After shooting erupted, at least 60 officers from sheriff's departments in Randolph and Upshur counties, police departments in Buckhannon and Elkins and State Police converged on the farmhouse.

As a precaution, police closed a section of U.S. 219 near Ennis' house during the standoff.

Ennis was arrested on the domestic battery warrant. Other charges stemming from the shooting and standoff are pending, Maxwell said.

He also faces charges of wanton endangerment with a firearm and attempted murder of a police officer stemming from Sunday's shooting.