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Victims ID’d

Boy hurt in standoff is stable

December 1, 2007
By GARRETT NEESE, Daily Mining Gazette Writer and the Associated Press
BESSEMER — The man who  killed his girlfriend and then himself during a standoff with police in the western Upper Peninsula has been identified, authorities said Friday.

A 6-year-old boy wounded in the standoff was also identified.

Officers surrounded a house in Bessemer on Thursday night after receiving a domestic violence report from Amy Green, 25, the Michigan State Police said in a release issued by the Wakefield post.

As police tried to make contact, 34-year-old Ladd Honkala, the suspect in the domestic violence complaint,  fired at them from inside, the statement said.

Keegan Miller, the son of Amy Green, was hit by a bullet as he stood outside. He was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minn., where he was in stable condition Friday.

“When we kicked the door in, we found a guy with a gun, and he jumped and then fired,” said Bob Halvorson, Gogebic County’s undersheriff.

Police eventually went inside and found Green and Honkala dead. Green was pregnant, according to the Daily Globe of Ironwood and The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton.

Officers from numerous agencies were present. None are believed to have fired any shots, said Jerry Mazurek, a trooper with the Wakefield post. 

No police officers were injured.

Tyler Jackovich, a friend of Honkala’s, told the Ironwood Daily Globe that  Honkala had been drinking heavily Thursday.

Halvorson said it’s unknown what time the deaths of Honkala and Green occurred.

“We don’t know when that took place,” he said.

An MSP Emergency Services team was called in after the shots and surrounded the house. Once the perimeter was set up, Halvorson said, police were able to stay in cars or in neighboring houses.

Streets were blocked off, keeping residents either out of or in their homes.

Two school bus routes passing through the area were rerouted.

Temperatures dipped into single digits during the standoff. Officers used Halvorson’s wife’s beauty shop, a block away from the house, as a staging area.

“That was a concern for us, was how long we could leave our guys out there,” he said. 

There was no communication with Honkala during the standoff, Halvorson said.

“Our people tried to make contact with him, and he wasn’t responding,” he said.

When officers eventually re-entered the house, they found Green and Honkala dead in an apparent murder-suicide, according to police.

Agencies taking part in the incident included the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department and Victim Services Unit, the Ironwood Public Safety Department, the Lac Vieux Desert Tribal Police, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Marenisco Police Department and other Wisconsin agencies.

Article Photos

A Michigan State Police trooper, left, and a Gogebic County Sheriff's Department deputy await instructions during an armed standoff with a suspect who barricaded himself inside a home in Bessemer Thursday afternoon. A 6-year-old boy was shot after deputies responded to a domestic complaint at the address on Woolsey Street and were fired upon. The boy was initially transported to Grand View Hospital in Ironwood and was later airlifted to a Duluth, Minn., hospital in stable condition. (AP photo)



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