UPDATE (3/11/20 11:05 a.m.):
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Police Department has charged Christopher Phillips after a standoff Tuesday.
Phillips is charged with first-degree sexual assault and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
According to a criminal complaint, Phillips and his wife are separated, and Phillips held her at gunpoint inside her apartment on North Willey Street while forcing her to perform various sex acts with him.
When officers arrived on scene, Phillips barricaded himself inside and threatened to shoot officers and himself, police said. He surrendered after a brief standoff, at which time officers found a loaded handgun inside the apartment. Phillips later admitted to having the handgun, according to a criminal complaint.
Phillips is a convicted felon of five sexual offenses, according to court documents.
Phillips is in North Central Regional Jail, with bail set at $5,500.
UPDATE (3/10/20 5:15 p.m.):
Charges are currently pending against a Preston County man who police said threatened to shoot his wife with a handgun, resulting in a standoff with law enforcement in Morgantown on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a press release from the Morgantown Police Department, officers responded to a report of a domestic dispute with a man holding a woman at gunpoint at a residence located on the 100 block of North Willey Street. The release stated that the initial report came from a third-party that said the incident was being reported to them via text message from the third party.
The release stated that officers arrived on scene and discovered that the victim, Mary Phillips, the suspect’s wife, fled the residence and reported to officers that her husband, Christopher Scott Phillips, 37, was inside the house armed with a handgun. Police said the victim stated that Christopher Phillips had pointed the firearm at her and threatened to shoot her.
The release stated that officers immediately secured the area, closed North Willie Street to vehicular traffic and notified Monongalia County Schools of the situation, due to the proximity of Mountaineer Middle School. Officers said that all other law enforcement agencies in the area were notified of the situation and the Morgantown Police Department Special Response Team was activated to respond to the scene. Officers also said that as a safety precaution, the Morgantown Fire Department was activated and staged near the scene as well.
The release stated that detectives with the Morgantown Police Department were able to establish contact with Christopher Phillips and convince him to surrender to authorities. Officers said no shots were fired during the incident and no injuries were reported.
Phillips’ last known address is in Tunnelton, West Virginia, according to the release. Police said Phillips was taken into custody and is currently being processed at the Morgantown Police Department. Charges are pending as a result of the ongoing investigation, but officers did recover a semi-automatic handgun from the scene.
ORIGINAL (3/10/20 3:06 p.m.)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Police Department responded to a report of a barricaded gunman in the vicinity of North Willey Street Tuesday afternoon, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page.
A male suspect was taken into custody around 3:00 p.m. There is no word on what charges the man faces yet.
In the initial Facebook post, officers stated that citizens were asked to stay clear of the area during the incident.
In the comments of the Facebook post, the police department said the situation is contained to the specific house it happened in and there was no immediate danger to to the nearby Mountaineer Middle School.
Andrew Stacy with the City of Morgantown told 12 News that one person was barricaded in a residence and the area was locked down. Stacy said there were no hostages involved in the incident and that there was no threat to Mountaineer Middle School or the surrounding area.
West Virginia University also issued a release regarding a WVU alert that was issued to students in regards to the incident near north Willey Street. In the release, WVU officials said that an alert was issued shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, asking people to avoid the area of North Willey Street after a reported off-campus incident.
The release stated that WVU Police responded to the scene to assist officers with the Morgantown Police Department, which is the lead investigative agency in the incident.
Stay with 12 News for updates on this incident as they become available.