SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Though 24-year-old Willie Haughton is now in Police custody, there are still some unanswered questions. Especially regarding the fourteen hours standoff that took place in North Springfield, after which police were informed Haughton was elsewhere.
The first question: Why were police convinced Haughton was ever at the first house (the one on North Bolivar and Kearney, where they staged a standoff from 7 am to 11 pm)?
“We had very credible information from a witness that said he’d spent the night there,” says Williams.
Along with that tip, police confirm that address matched one found on a list of addresses Haughton could’ve been found.
“The suspect wasn’t really tied to one location. We had a list of about ten locations where he might be at,” the chief says.
Now another question: What were some of the factors keeping police in position? Williams says there are a few. The first one is officer safety.
“We are not like TV swat operation,” he says. “Our SRT guys don’t show up and go ‘Hey the suspect is in the house. Let’s kick a door and guns blazing’.”
Another factor is the nature of the house, which Williams says would’ve been great for hiding.
“That house, from my understanding, was condemned and was getting ready to be demolished this weekend,” Williams explains. “I’ve heard it described as a hoarder house it made it very difficult to maneuver in there.”
Finally, he says they received tips throughout the day that Haughton was inside. Some of those tips were coming from those three people pulled from the house earlier Thursday afternoon.
“We had someone who stuck to their story, pretty heavily, that he was there and then couple that were sticking to their story that he wasn’t,” he says.
The last question: After realizing he wasn’t inside the house in North Springfield, how did they realize he was 15 minutes south, in a house outside city limits?
“We’d been at that residence all day on surveillance along with a bunch of other places,” Williams says. “He gave himself up pretty quick.”