Oconto County authorities release more details on overnight standoff

Thomas S. Benser (Photo courtesy Oconto Co. Sheriff's Office)

OCONTO COUNTY (WLUK) -- Benser Lane in Lena remained blocked off Monday.

It's where police say 50-year-old Thomas Benser barricaded himself inside his home Sunday afternoon.

Benser has not yet been formally charged in the case.

Authorities say they were called to his home around 1:30 p.m.

"A suicidal male, subject, we were there to check the welfare of the subject," said Oconto County Sheriff Chief Deputy, Edward Janke.

"Everyone came out alive. It was a good thing because it didn't look good," said Robert White, who owns a bait shop near Benser's home.

White watched the situation unfold, "At one time there was up to 17 different units out there: cops, squads, swat team."

Janke says Benser had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day, "Coincidentally, we were already looking for this subject for crimes committed earlier, in regards a domestic relationship violence."

He says as officers attempted to get Benser out of his home, he fired several shots at officers, "The rounds were very close to two of our officers, in fact, three of our officers. One of our officers was struck by debris from the subject's rounds that were being fired at us."

The Brown County Emergency Management Taskforce was called in.

Janke says after ten hours, the situation was resolved shortly before midnight, "Ultimately, we're able to find a tactical resolution, in that brought the subject outside."

As he watched it all unfold, White says he was just glad no one was seriously hurt, "Respect the police, they got a tough job."

Benser is expected to be in court Tuesday.

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