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Norwalk Standoff Suspect Heads For Evaluation

NORWALK, Conn. – The man responsible for a tense armed standoff Thursday afternoon sat on the steps on his Norwalk home with a rifle under his chin before going back inside and threatening to shoot police, according to an affidavit at Norwalk Superior Court.

William Loeffel, 24, of 4 Hillside St., has been unemployed since January and drinking heavily, his 23-year-old girlfriend says in the affidavit. She came home for lunch Thursday and found Loeffel drunk and sitting next to an empty bottle of Tequila, the affidavit says. She told him she was done with him and demanded that he leave for good, the affidavit says.

The affidavit then gave this account of Thursday's escalating incident:

They attempted to work out the details of their separation. When she said he would be able to see their dog, Loefell pushed her onto a bed, got on top of her and put his hand over her mouth so she couldn't breathe. She tried to break free. When she stopped fighting, he let her go.

She said she would take their dog and leave. He said, "I'm going to end it all right now." She tried to block him from getting to the closet with the rifle but failed. She left with the dog and was in the driveway when he came out with the rifle, standing in the doorway and saying he wanted to kill himself.

Loeffel later told police he was an excellent shot and would pick off any officers who got near the house. With the SWAT team stationed across the street, Loeffel talked with Lt. Shawn Wong-Won on the phone. Loeffel said he was a merchant marine officer, which Wong-Won used to build trust. They ran through a series of "what if?" scenarios and Wong-Won assured Loeffel that, as no one had yet been injured, the situation might be resolved agreeably.

Loeffel put the rifle on the couch and went out the right side door. He was taken into custody without incident.

Loeffel was charged with first-degree threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree unlawful restraint, unlawful discharge of a firearm and second-degree breach of peace. Bond was set at $150,000.

He was arraigned Friday in Norwalk Superior Court. Bail was dropped to $25,000 on the condition that Loeffel immediately check in as an inpatient in the Norwalk Hospital psychiatric ward.

"I think he'll agree he needs some help," defense Attorney Susan Filan said. His next court date is Nov. 5.

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