The BND has much better coverage of this story...they also have video of the press conference.
As it turns out, he's running for the Prairie do Long Township highway commissioner position and is still on the ballot.
Tuesday, Apr. 07, 2009Township candidate takes wife hostage; shoots himself during Smithton standoff
BY JENNIFER A. BOWEN AND JACQUELINE LEE - News-Democrathttp://www.bnd.com/homepage/story/719955.html
SMITHTON -- A Prairie du Long Township highway commissioner candidate remained hospitalized Monday night in critical condition after shooting himself during an eight-hour police standoff that began as a domestic hostage situation.
Terris Stahl, 34, of Smithton, will remain on today's ballot and is eligible for election, St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said.
"He probably won't be able to vote, but he could be elected," Delaney said. "If he gets elected, and then if he gets convicted, that's up to Prairie du Long to handle that. If he gets sent to prison, he won't be able to serve."
Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off Smithton stand-off
Police officers walk down Rockledge Trail on Monday morning. - Derik Holtmann/BND
Officers responded to a 4:11 a.m. call and discovered an armed man had forced his way into a home at 4806 Rockledge Trail in Smithton with four individuals, including his estranged wife and their 4-year-old child.
Three of the hostages escaped the single-story home unharmed after the standoff began with police, leaving the wife alone with the gunman. Gunshots were heard when the 911 call was made, and again when the wife escaped about 7:30 a.m.
Police found the man on the floor of the living room and he was rushed to a local hospital by ambulance about 12:30 p.m. He had a what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head but had a pulse and was slightly responsive to medical personnel, St. Clair County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Johnson said.
Police have not released the man's name, and will not do so unless charges are filed against him, but Prairie Du Long officials have confirmed the man's identity.
Stahl's father, Terry Stahl, is the township's current highway commissioner and Stahl's grandfather, Walter Stahl, also held the position, Prairie Du Long Supervisor John Kaiser said.
"I didn't really know the man that well because I mostly associated with his father, but he wanted three generations of Stahls and tomorrow the votes will decide that," Kaiser said. "We sure hope the best for the family and that as much good that can come out of this does."
Court records show that Terris Stahl -- who now lives with his parents at 5921 Robinson School Road near Smithton -- was arrested for violating an order of protection March 30 when he called his estranged wife, Erin Stahl. He is scheduled to appear in court April 24 for the misdemeanor.
Stahl was transferred to St. Louis University Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
"We had been introducing gas into the residence in an attempt to get him to come out," Johnson said. "After all communication failed, we opened the front door to attempt to send in remote cameras to assess the situation and see where he was. That's when we found the subject down on the floor in the living room."
A SWAT team introduced at least six rounds of gas canisters into the home, Johnson said. About 9 a.m., an officer on a bullhorn asked "Terris" to give them an indication showing that he was all right by turning on a light, opening the garage door or calling by telephone. There was no response.
"We always try to wait the longest time we can," Johnson said. "But it gets to the point where we can't let it go on any longer without a response, which is why we decided to attempt to send the cameras in. This entire time that individual was lying there with a gunshot wound. but we had no idea until we entered the residence. Everything in these situations is geared towards the safety of the officers and those civilians who are around."
A SWAT team from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Region 8 Special Response Team and the St. Clair County/Belleville Special Response Team were at the scene maintaining a perimeter. Armed officers in riot gear took up positions near the home.
Other police agencies on hand included the Illinois State Police, Smithton police, Millstadt police, Freeburg police, New Athens police, officers from Belleville and the emergency response team from Alton.
Police cars blocked the entrance to the Ledgestone Estates subdivision off Illinois 159 in the early dawn hours, and residents near the home involved in the situation were evacuated as a safety precaution.