By Kaylee Lindenmuth
GIRARDVILLE - A man is in custody after a standoff with police in the borough Wednesday evening, prompting the closure of a state highway running through town.
According to police, shortly before 9:30pm, officers went to 344 East Mahanoy Avenue along PA Route 54 to serve an emergency protection from abuse order to the homeowner, John Weikel Sr.
Officers say Weikel had a handgun when he answered the door, and when demanded to drop it, he closed the door of the residence, and shortly after, officers heard gunshots fired in the home and called for backup.
The response brought police officers from Mount Carmel, Butler Township (Schuylkill), Frackville, Shenandoah, Ashland, West Mahanoy Township, and the state police, while the Girardville Fire Department closed the road from Connerton Road to Second Street.
Radio traffic from County Communications to fire crews during the incident noted around 9:45pm that the county communications center was "dealing with a barricaded gunman with shots fired," and around 10:12pm that they had one male in custody.
Weikel was taken into custody without incident, and Route 54 was reopened around 10:30pm, when Girardville Fire and EMS crews were cleared from the scene.