Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

2012-05-25T17:21:00Z 2012-06-02T12:12:22Z Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoffBy Bob Kasarda and Sarah Tompkins Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Law enforcement searched a rental house owned by a gunman who held police at bay for seven hours Friday.

Officers from the Valparaiso Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco, Indiana State Police and the Porter County Bomb Squad swarmed the house, 856 Grove St., about 5 p.m. Friday.

There was no one inside the residence as several neighbors watched agents cut through a screen and enter a window.

Officers searched the property for about an hour and found gunman Roy L. Ferguson's motorcycle in a garage. It is unclear how Ferguson, 48, of Texas, traveled from the residence to the Prudential Executive Group building, 2612 Calumet Ave., where the standoff occurred.

Neighbors said Ferguson had moved to Texas and was renting the property. They said his wife died about four years ago, leaving him a single father.

"I talked to him when I was going to take the kids to school and pick them up," said neighbor Gregg Kovach, adding he thought Ferguson had been in town for a few days. "He was always a pretty nice guy. Didn't seem threatening or anything."

A man and a woman who appeared to be family showed up at the house distraught and spoke with law enforcement. They declined to comment.

Duane Davison said he met Ferguson about a week and a half ago when Ferguson was working on the house.

"He said he lives in Houston, Texas, and was up to change out the house," Davison said.

A family that had been living in the house moved out at the start of the month, neighbor Kimberly Collins said.

Davison said Ferguson told him he planned to be in the area for a week.

"He gave no indication anything was up," Davison said.

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