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Man holed up in camper prompts SWAT situation in Pittsburgh neighborhood

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PITTSBURGH - A man was taken into custody Monday morning after he was holed up in a camper on a street in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood, prompting an hours-long standoff, police said.

William Snatchko was involved in a domestic incident with his wife at a house in Carnegie prior to the SWAT team’s deployment to Allen Street shortly after 2:30 a.m., police said.

Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic reported that Snatchko and his wife are in the midst of a divorce. Police said the wife called 911 after Snatchko called her into the basement and pointed a gun at her. She told police that she, her cousin and Snatchko struggled over the gun, and as she ran upstairs, he grabbed another gun and fired it.

No one was injured by the gunfire, and Snatchko fled to Allentown.

“Anytime someone is willing to use a firearm to commit a crime and then abscond, there absolutely is always that potential for community violence in the future,” Pittsburgh police Sgt. Eric Baker said.

Authorities first searched a house on Allen Street before realizing that Snatchko was in the camper parked outside. Police said he was armed and had two dogs with him.


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During the course of the standoff, gas was deployed in an attempt to get Snatchko to surrender. Police were also heard over a loudspeaker trying to communicate with him.

“(He) verbally kept telling us, ‘I’m not coming out. Stop breaking my trailer. Leave me alone. Just go away,’” Baker said.

Shortly after 6 a.m., smoke was seen coming from the camper. Firefighters put out a fire, the cause of which was not immediately clear, but Snatchko remained inside.

Snatchko surrendered peacefully shortly after 7 a.m. Police said he used a cellphone that they placed inside the camper after removing the door to notify authorities, and a K-9 was sent in.

Snatchko was taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Police in Carnegie said Snatchko will face charges that include attempted homicide. Pittsburgh police do not plan to file any charges.

Another man was initially in the camper with Snatchko but did not stay there long, police said.