ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Religion argument on Easter leads to 6-hour standoff in Hempfield, police say

Paul Peirce
| Monday, April 2, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
Remnants of a foam projectile lay on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.
WPXI
Remnants of a foam projectile lay on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.
Remnants of a foam projectile lay on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.
WPXI
Remnants of a foam projectile lay on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.
Shell casings from projectiles used to break windows lie on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.
WPXI
Shell casings from projectiles used to break windows lie on the ground outside Hempfield Heights Apartments in Hempfield Township.

An argument over religion on Easter Sunday allegedly prompted a Chicago man to pull a handgun on two people at a Hempfield Township apartment building that led to a standoff with state police that lasted more than six hours.

Antoine D. Drew, 39, was arraigned Monday before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour on multiple criminal charges of aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, making terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident at the Hempfield Heights Apartment complex.

Mansour ordered Drew held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bond.

Drew was at his girlfriend's apartment on West Hills Drive, along with the girlfriend's mother and the mother's boyfriend, who were visiting from Virginia, Trooper Joseph Lauricia reported in an affidavit of probable cause.

While the girlfriend was at work, the two men “got into an argument over religion” about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Lauricia reported.

Drew pulled out a silver and black weapon that police later determined was a .380 caliber handgun, Lauricia alleges in the affidavit.

“Drew began to yell at (the two Virginia visitors) to get out of the apartment,” Lauricia wrote. The two “feared for their lives ... with Drew waving and pointing a pistol at them” and left.

They called 911 and state police responded.

When troopers arrived, Drew refused multiple requests to surrender, police said.

“Drew explained there was no way he was going to exit the apartment and that the police would have to earn their money,” Lauricia said.

The state police Special Emergency Response Team was called, and Drew eventually was taken into custody inside the apartment at about 5 a.m., authorities said.

“A search warrant was executed and the firearm used in the incident was found concealed behind the bottom stove drawer,” Lauricia said.

Lauricia said Drew has convictions in Illinois for multiple firearm possession and drug violations.

Mansour tentatively set a preliminary hearing on April 13.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me