Man surrenders to police following hours-long standoff at home in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- After almost seven hours, a stand-off in Independence ended peacefully with the suspect surrendering to police.

The man who owns the home on South Main Street near East Pacific Avenue where the stand-off took place, said a man he hired to do electrical work at the home he bought three-months ago is the suspect.

He says Jason House has been breaking into the home on South Main Street and stealing things and began squatting in the home. The owner, who did not want to be identified, said he is rehabbing the old house. Friday morning when he arrived to start work early, he noticed that the front door was askew, so he went upstairs to check it out and found Jason House.

"He was laying on the floor, I think we startled him more than anything and he was on drugs up in there and he scared the hell out of me. Bounced up, took a swing at me, hit me and that is when I defended myself," said the homeowner of the encounter. "He got away from me and then I saw him pulling a rifle out of a gun case and I saw the stock of that and I told my coworker James, let's run. We barely touched a step on the way down."

The homeowner said house followed.

"He went down the stairs, chased us down and we came in here and locked in, all three of us and he shoved the rifle through the window looking for us."

House never fired a shot, but police responded quickly and rescued the men from the first floor apartment while house barricaded himself upstairs.

The standoff happened right next door to the Messiah Lutheran School. Principal Eric Eckhoff said the school went into lockdown and the children were moved to the South side of the building, away from danger.

"The younger kids didn't know anything," said Eckhoff. "The older kids did start to figure it out that there was something weird going on but they were great leaders to the older kids and there were no problems at all."

Independence Police did not immediately confirm the suspect is Jason House, court records show that while the standoff was going on, Jason House was charged with Unlawful use of a weapon at the address of the home on South Main Street.