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Yellow Springs suspect has history of gun-related arrests

The man killed in a shootout with law enforcement on Wednesday morning is the same man arrested in 2009 following another incident involving weapons.

Sheriff Gene Fischer identified the deceased as Paul E. Schenck, of 280/310 N. High St. An autopsy is expected to be performed on Thursday.

Investigators said it could be several days before they can say for certain whether Schenck died from a self-inflicted wound, or was killed by a shot from a law enforcement officer.

Police radio traffic reveals that within several minutes of arriving on scene, Yellow Springs Police officers knew who they were dealing with, and that they had previously taken a large cache of guns from his home.

According to court records Schenck had weapons, disorderly conduct, obstruction and resisting arrest charges between 1993 and 2009.

In 2009, Schenck was arrested after police said they had to wrestle a gun from him. Following that arrest police obtained a search warrant for the residence. Inside the home investigators found and confiscated more than 20 rifles, four to five handguns, tens of thousands of rounds of ammo and sophisticated body armor, according to police.

He was convicted of obstruction of official business in Xenia Municipal Court and his guns were returned to him about a year later. Yellow Springs Police Chief Tony Pettiford said the guns were returned as part of a court order.

He was ordered to pay a fine and a 90-day jail sentence was suspended.

On Tuesday, the original call to authorities was made around 11 p.m.

On a 911 recording a male can be heard asking for help and giving the address of 310 N. Main Street. Dispatchers try to get more information, but the man doesn’t respond.

Police and medics were sent to Schenck’s home and were met with gunfire, said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.

A SWAT robot entered the house around 5 a.m. and discovered the suspect down on the floor. SWAT members left their positions around the house just after 5 a.m.

Reports indicate an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police occurred at least once during the standoff, which lasted for around six hours. A helicopter was also brought in to assist crews from multiple jurisdictions.

Fischer said several dozen rounds were aimed toward deputies. Two law enforcement vehicles were struck by bullets during the standoff, Fischer said. No neighbors or law enforcement officials were injured during the standoff, but Schenck’s 19-year-old son was transported via ambulance with unknown injuries.

“What was so profound was the noise,” said Thomas Reynolds.

The Air Force veteran was only in town for a short visit and had been attending a cookout across the street earlier in the evening.

“It definitely wasn’t just small rounds,” he said. “It got louder and louder.”

The village instituted its emergency “one call” system alerting residents that there was gunfire in the area of North High and North Stafford streets and instructing people to stay in their homes.

“We heard several shots. We just stayed at the back of the house,” said Rose Clay who lives on Stafford Street.

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