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