Butler County man arrested after 7-hour standoff

Published 2:37 pm Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Butler County man is in custody after a seven-hour standoff with authorities.

William Randall Pettie, 46, was arrested Sunday for attempted murder after he fired two shots at Butler County Sheriff’s deputies, according to Sheriff Kenny Harden.

Harden said the BCSO got a call at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday from Pettie’s mother stating that he planned to commit suicide. When deputies arrived at his mobile home on McKenzie Grade Road near the intersection of Hwy. 106, Pettie fired two shots at the deputies and then barricaded himself inside the home. One of the shots struck a BCSO patrol car.

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“When I got the call that shots had been fired, I ordered our deputies to back off to a safe distance and secure the area,” Harden said.

At 8:30 a.m., Harden called for the Greenville Police Department’s Special Response Team to assist with the situation.

Harden said at one point Pettie walked out of the mobile home and paced around with a gun pointed to his neck before going back inside. It became clear to authorities that Pettie did not plan to exit the house and surrender.

“We tried to talk him out of the house, but we weren’t getting anywhere, ” Harden said. “We started negotiating around 8:30 a.m., and after about four we were convinced that he wasn’t going to come out of the house on his own.”

At 12:25 p.m. the Special Response Team fired five canisters of tear gas into the mobile home through three windows. At 12:31 p.m., Pettie exited the mobile home and was taken into custody by authorities.

“It came to a good ending,” Harden said. “The bad guy is in jail and no officers were injured.”

Harden said Pettie was previously convicted of murder and as a result will also face charges for felony firearm possession.