MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) — State authorities say more than 1,000 firearms and more than 140,000 rounds of ammunition were seized from the Ohio property where a weekend standoff ended with law enforcement shooting and killing two brothers.
Local authorities said Randy Wilhelm, 56, and Bradley Wilhelm, 53, fired guns at law enforcement vehicles during the standoff and one of the brothers had threatened to explode a propane tank rather than be captured.
The Knox County sheriff’s office said the standoff began after a bail bondsman reported shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday that his vehicle had been shot at multiple times as he was trying to apprehend Randy Wilhelm.
Randy Wilhelm had been free on $100,000 bail but failed to appear for an Aug. 2 trial in county court stemming from a 2020 indictment on charges including intimidation, menacing by stalking, bribery, felonious assault and domestic violence, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Authorities said they received multiple tips that Wilhelm, a well-known trap shooter and proficient marksman, had a stockpile of firearms and ammunition and had expressed a determination to resist arrest.
Several agencies provided armored vehicles, and three of them were struck by gunfire from the two suspects, authorities said. Sgt. Brice Nihiser of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the suspects shot at the state patrol helicopter but did not strike it, the newspaper reported.
Authorities said a bulk propane truck was moved next to one of the houses on the property during the standoff, and they alleged that Randy Wilhelm had earlier threatened to use the tanker as a bomb if law enforcement attempted to apprehend him.
Law enforcement officers shot and killed both men shortly before 9:30 a.m. Saturday as they were allegedly riding in a side-by-side vehicle toward officers who were outside of an armored vehicle, officials said. Two other people were evacuated safely, they said.
Sheriff Jay Shaffer said his office had done planning and surveillance to try to bring about a peaceful resolution, but “based on their actions, the brothers unfortunately did not appear to have any intention of being arrested.”
The state attorney general’s office said Monday that officers were executing a search warrant for Randy Wilhelm and seizure of all firearms on the property. The office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation seized more than 1,000 firearms and more than 140,000 rounds of ammunition from the property, officials said.
“The firearms are primarily sporting shotguns and hunting caliber rifles,” officials said in a statement Monday. “Most of the ammunition is target ammunition for trapshooting.”
The bureau is investigating the shooting.