July 05, 2006

Marine Shot With Rubber Bullets In Standoff Feared Being Sent To Iraq


George Kochaniec Jr. © News

Loveland and Fort Collins SWAT members walk back to their command center after successfully ending a standoff with a Marine holding an assault rifle in front of his family's Loveland home. Friends of Joshua Christianson, 18, said he was afraid of being deployed to Iraq

Looks more like cold feet than perhaps any political statement on the war:
LOVELAND - An 18-year-old Marine who friends said feared going to Iraq was arrested Wednesday after a seven-hour standoff with police.
Pfc. Joshua Christianson, who prior to the incident had been scheduled to return to his Marine unit Wednesday, was armed with an assault rifle and threatening suicide, police said.

He was apprehended after SWAT team members detonated five "flash-bang" grenades as a distraction and then knocked him down with two large rubber bullets.

Friends said Christianson was afraid of where he would be deployed.

"He was scared and worried about going to Iraq," said Victoria Lizotte, 18, a high school friend. "I thought maybe the Marines would change him for the better."

. . .

Just before noon, SWAT team members set off five "diversionary" grenades and fired rubber bullets at Christianson, hitting him once in the leg and once in the back.

Police ordered Christianson to the ground. He complied and was arrested without incident, police said.

Christianson grew up in Loveland and graduated from Loveland High School in 2005, according to neighbors and friends. After finishing high school, he joined the Marines.

"He's a good kid," said a family friend, who declined to give his name. "He wants some help. (But) he's seeking it out the wrong way.

"He's not willing to go back to the Marines," the man added. "And he was recently promoted."

. . .

Police said Christianson will be charged with failure to leave premises or property upon request of a peace officer, prohibited use of a firearm and disorderly conduct.
More on the standoff here.

George Kochaniec ©
The Day in Photos - July 5, 2006

Loveland Police Sgt. Ron Anderson holds the AR-15 assault rifle a man used in a SWAT standoff in Loveland. Joshua Christianson,18, a U.S. Marine, held the rifle to his head in front of his Loveland home for over seven hours before he was taken into custody by SWAT officers. Loveland and Ft. Collins SWAT teams were used and Christianson was eventually shot by a Sage Gun, a low powered charge which disoriented him until he could be safely restrained. Loveland Police are investigating the motive behind the standoff.


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