UPDATE: Officers use gas to end Milton standoff

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Gazette staff
Thursday, November 9, 2017

TOWN OF MILTON—Shots were fired before police used a pepper spray-like gas to end a six-hour standoff at a rural Milton home Thursday.

Arrested were Rache T. Boyd, 22, and Eric B. Fenne, 28, both of 2306 E. County M, Milton. Both are suspected in an armed robbery at the Stop N Go gas station on Center Avenue in Janesville early Thursday morning, according to a Rock County Sheriff's Office news release.

The sheriff's office Thursday afternoon reported Boyd was arrested on suspicion of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Fenne was arrested on suspicion of probation violation, being a felon in possession of a firearm, strangulation, false imprisonment and resisting an officer.

The sheriff's office said the two also are suspected in a Madison shooting Wednesday night, but the sheriff's office did not give details of that incident.

Both were being held at Rock County Jail pending court appearances Monday, according to the release.

No one was injured in the local incidents, Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said.

At 6:45 a.m. Thursday, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at 2306 E. County M, Milton. The reporting woman met deputies at a "remote location" in Newville and said she'd been threatened and that those in the Milton home had fired several shots inside, according to the release.

Officers set up a perimeter around the home and tried several times unsuccessfully to call the people inside.

Gas to the home was shut off at 10:56 a.m. Boyd exited and was arrested at 11:07 a.m. Boyd admitted to Rock County detectives involvement in the armed robbery at Stop N Go, 714 Center Ave., Janesville, at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. She said Fenne told her to leave the house and that he was armed and didn't intend to surrender, according to the release.

At 11:23 a.m., police broke a front window to the home and tossed a phone inside in an attempt to communicate with Fenne, according to the release.

Law enforcement officers dispensed an irritating, pepper spray-like gas into the home's basement. At 12:46 p.m., Fenne exited through the home's back door and was arrested, according to the release.

Fenne was cooperative and didn't resist arrest. Law enforcement officials believe the gas motivated Fenne to surrender, Spoden said.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and were clearing gas and searching the residence. The investigation is ongoing, according to the release.

A portion of County M was shut down Thursday morning after deputies surrounded the house.

Spoden said deputies had training on how to use the gas scheduled for Friday.

Police said the Stop N Go clerk reported being robbed at gunpoint. The robber left the store heading west on foot with cash and Newport 100 cigarettes, according to a Janesville police news release.

Police were looking for a black female who is between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall. She was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, purple socks, thin black sweatpants and gray slippers, the news release states.

Spoden said Fenne also was involved with the robbery.

The sheriff said Fenne has a violent criminal history. Law enforcement's goal during the standoff was to get officers and suspects out of the area safely, he said.

Fenne has previously been convicted of battery and resisting or obstructing an officer, according to online court documents.

Anyone with information about the crime can call Janesville Area CrimeStoppers at 608-756-3636 or use the P3 Tips phone app to send information anonymously.

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