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Officers from the Moultrie Police Department and Colquitt County Sheriff's Office wait at the scene of a Tuesday afternoon standoff on 11th Court Southeast. Neighbors said that the standoff began in the afternoon when James Ridley fired shots from a gun. The standoff continued into the evening.

12:30 a.m. update

James Ridley surrendered to Moultrie police and Colquitt County sheriff's deputies around midnight Wednesday, according to Moultrie Police Chief Frank Lang. That ended a standoff that lasted about 12 hours on 11th Court Southeast.

No one was injured, Lang said.

More details will be provided in an upcoming edition of The Moultrie Observer and at www.moultrieobserver.com.

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Original story posted at 10:50 p.m. Wednesday.

In a scene eerily similar to a deadly standoff last Labor Day, an armed man with mental issues barricaded himself in his home Tuesday in southeast Moultrie.

The standoff began after James Ridley fired shots at his 11th Court Southeast residence around noon. It is not clear at this time whether he was firing into the air or at someone, but no one was reported injured.

Neighbors said Ridley is blind and also suffers from “mental issues.”

As of 9 p.m., Moultrie police and Colquitt County sheriff’s deputies continued to surround the house in an attempt to coax Ridley out. There has been no speculation as to what caused his outburst.

Last September, a Moultrie police officer serving on the county’s SWAT team fatally shot Walter Wayne Peterson, also a mentally ill man, after Peterson barricaded himself into his home on Seventh Street Northwest. Peterson had allegedly attacked another police officer with a knife, and attempts to communicate with him broke down. Thinking Peterson was incapacitated by a Taser strike, the SWAT team entered the house, but Peterson allegedly came at them with the knife and was fatally shot.

The Peterson shooting was about five years after another Moultrie police officer fatally shot Willie J. Banks, yet another mentally ill man, when Banks allegedly came at him and two other officers with a knife when they tried to arrest him on a theft warrant.

Both shootings inflamed some of the community, but the Peterson shooting sparked action because of the involvement of the National Association for the Mentally Ill, which has a chapter in Albany, attended by several Moultrians.

After Peterson’s death, several officers of the Moultrie Police and Colquitt County Sheriff’s departments, as well as some city firefighters and E-911 dispatchers, were trained in crisis intervention techniques by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. MPD Sgt. Rob Rodriguez and E-911 supervisor Gwendolyn Knighton have been certified to train other officers under this program.

 

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