LONE GUNMAN HOLDS NEIGHBORHOOD AT BAY
- BSO Case Number: NL02-03-355
- PIO Number: 02-3-5
- Date: March 5, 2002
- Place of Occurrence: 7400 SW 13th St., North Lauderdale
- Robert Ashenfelter, 61, 12/15/40, 7400 SW 13th St., North Lauderdale
Description of Incident:
A nearly 3-hour long standoff ended when a lone gunman fatally shot himself outside a North Lauderdale home today.
Shortly after 11:00 am, the Broward Sheriff's Office was called to the home at 7400 SW 13th Street by 61-year old Robert Ashenfelter who claimed to have taken two young girls hostage and gave an indication that he wanted to harm himself.
The first deputies to arrive on the scene reported shots being fired from within Ashenfelter’s home and called for backup. BSO SWAT members arrived and took up position while negotiators worked feverishly to talk Ashenfelter into giving up peacefully. Other investigators tried to determine if there was any validity to the man’s claims of having hostages, but nothing was found to support that idea.
BSO evacuated nearby homes as a precaution and worked with the administrations of two area schools to prepare for the possibility that the standoff might be ongoing as students were being let out of class.
Throughout the ordeal, Ashenfelter fired up to two dozen shots from his handgun. Fortunately, no one was injured. Twice, he walked out of the home as if trying to goad SWAT members into shooting him.
Shortly after 2:00 pm, the solitary gunman emerged from his home, walked onto the swale area, and shot himself in the upper left chest. He was airlifted to North Broward Medical Center and was pronounced dead a short time later.
BSO continues to investigate the matter.
- INVESTIGATORS: Dets. J. Berrena D. Nicholson
- THIS REPORT BY: Hugh Graf / PIO 3/5/02 5:00pm
- Robert Ira Ashenfelter - 1991 Mug Shot of Robert Ashenfelter