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CANTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — About five hours after a standoff began at the Washington Estates Mobile Home Park in Canton Township, State Police brought in an armored vehicle called The Rook, which is a bulletproof Bobcat, as they ramped up efforts to bring the incident to a close.

The Rook (Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz)

Then, around 9:30 Friday night, after police set off a couple of flash bangs to serve as a distraction and following more negotiations, the suspect, identified as Matt Evans, was taken into custody.

“It’s over, peacefully. The gentleman came out. He was taken into custody. Nobody injured. No threat to the public at this time,” State Trooper Robert Broadwater said.

For dozens of Washington Estates residents who were ordered by State Police to leave their homes as a precaution while negotiations with Evans continued, it turned into an exasperating Friday evening.

Precautions were taken, police said, because the suspect was known to have at least one weapon.

“We have a couple of activities we’d like to get to tonight, time willing,” resident William Jackson said. “It’s definitely frustrating.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Another resident of the 150-unit mobile home park said what happened was uncharacteristic of Evans.

“He’s talked to my kids and my grandkids. I would feel safe with him around my kids. I didn’t want to leave when they asked me to leave because I didn’t have any fears of being there,” Christy McMaster, a longtime neighbor of Evans’, said.

Police were called to the park around 2 p.m. Friday after Evans and one of his neighbors got into a confrontation. After arguing, Evans went back inside and came out with a shotgun. No shots were fired and Evans went back inside, but when State Police arrived on the scene, Evans refused to comply with their orders to come back out.

The manager of the park had pizza and bottled water brought in for the residents who had to wait out the standoff.

When it was over, some of the residents applauded State Police as they were leaving, relieved that no one was injured.

Ralph Iannotti