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March 24, 2014

Police standoff at Jeffersonville home ends with suicide

Man’s father said son was released from U of L mental health services hours before taking his own life

JEFFERSONVILLE — A nearly five-hour standoff with police at a Jeffersonville home Monday morning ended with a self-inflicted, fatal gunshot.

Raymond Korb, 28, Jeffersonville, entered his estranged wife’s home in the 1700 block of Birch Bark Lane before using his father’s rifle to take his own life.

Korb’s father, Bob Korb, was at the scene Monday and said he could have talked his son safely out of the home, if given the opportunity.

“I never thought he would do it,” Korb said of his son’s death.

Korb said the suicide is even more difficult for the family, as Raymond Korb had been released from a mental-health assessment at University of Louisville Hospital only two hours before arriving at his estranged wife’s home.

The incident occurred at an Oak Park-neighborhood home near First Christian Church and the former Dairy Queen restaurant on Middle Road and the Allison Lane intersection.

Nearby homes were evacuated and surrounding roadways were closed as Jeffersonville Police SWAT and the Louisville Metro Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the home.

Korb said his son’s death was preceded by a prescription pill overdose that was first detected Sunday night by his employers at the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant on Fern Valley Road in Louisville.

“I know he took a bunch of medication [and] went to work last night. They pulled him because they seen he was under the influence and took him to the clinic to do a drug test, and he started talking about, just, he wanted to die,” Korb said.

Korb said he went to the clinic to meet his son, and at about 12:30 a.m. an employee there said he could take his son from the facility, if he promised to take him directly to U of L Hospital.

Bob Korb agreed and took his son to the hospital, adding that at about 2 a.m., he was taken back for treatment.

“At 6 [a.m.] the doctors called me and asked me if I could come get him,” Korb said. “I always thought if you were talking suicidal, they do a 72-hour hold, but they released him.”

U of L Hospital Media Relations Manager David McArthur said that hospital officials will be taking steps to determine why Korb was cleared for release.

“Certainly, the University Hospital would extend its sympathies to the family for going through this,” McArthur said. “In a case such as this, [it is] standard protocol for an internal review to take place, of which will be happening very soon.”

THE INCIDENT

JPD Detective Todd Hollis said a woman called 911 about 8 a.m. to report her estranged husband had arrived at the home with a rifle and made suicidal statements.

Hollis said Raymond Korb lives on Elliott Avenue in Jeffersonville, but two small children she and Korb share live with their mother.

After the 911 call, police responded to the home, and the woman and two children were safely evacuated.

Bob Korb said he was notified of the standoff, when Raymond Korb called his mother in Louisville from inside the home.

“He said, ‘I got the police over here surrounding the place,’” Korb said. “That is when my daughter looked up and said, ‘Oh my God, dad. He took the rifle.’” Korb said his son had taken the rifle that he uses for deer hunting.

He said he then called 911 asked to be connected to a JPD dispatcher.

“I told them, please, do not let them kill my son. I will get there, and I will talk him out.”

Korb didn’t have the opportunity to speak with his son, however, but was kept behind a strip of yellow police crime-scene tape, several blocks from the home.

“I do believe, if they had let me go down to the house, I could have walked him out,” Korb said. “They just never did let me talk to him or nothing.”

Jeffersonville Police Detective Todd Hollis said it is against safety protocol to have friends or family members approach the subject of ongoing negotiation.

“It introduces an element that may agitate the situation,” Hollis said. “It is not uncommon for suicidal subjects, when they speak to family members to use that as opportunity to say their final goodbyes.”

He said Raymond Korb had made threats to police during the negotiations.

“If contact with the family would have escalated the situation, it would have put officers in further danger,” Hollis said.

After the woman called 911 about 8 a.m., JPD responded and took action after she and the children came out of the home.

“Once we were assured the only person in the home was the subject with the weapon, our officers created a perimeter and began negotiations with the gentleman inside the home,” Hollis said.

He said the intermittent communication continued over the telephone “ ... for some time, until officers reported hearing a gunshot from within the home. After that, we were unable to reestablish any communication with the subject.”

Hollis said police communicated with the Korb “ ... almost the entire time. We were able to speak with him quite a bit. He made several threats that he wanted to end his own life.”

Police negotiators “tried their best to convince him to surrender himself peacefully for medical treatment, so we could get him some help. Unfortunately we were unable to convince him to do so,” Hollis said.

He said police then forced open the front door of the home, and a video-equipped LMPD Bomb Squat robot entered the residence and located Korb lying on the floor of the living room.

Police then entered the home and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hollis did not provide an exact time of the shooting, but said Korb is believed to have taken his life hours after arriving at the residence.

He said investigators have determined the Korb had been “distraught and depressed” for several days, but it is not known why he arrived to the home this morning and took his own life hours later.

Korb said his son was “a good boy,” and his family is overwhelmed with grief.

“I have no idea how we are going to cope with this,” Korb said.” Knowing what I know, I am still looking for him to call me on my phone saying, “Hey, dad, can you come over here and help me work on the car?”

 

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Motion Studio's junior company performs "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in celebration of National Dance Day at the Bicentennial Park in New Albany Saturday. The junior company, ages 7-11, have been working with Motion Studios on the ballet routine for the past four months.

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