• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Standoff update

The standoff at 107 Sable Avenue May 12 that ended with a self-inflicted and fatal gunshot wasn't the first time Bill McDaniel had been at odds with local law enforcement personnel. A robot sent in by Kentucky State Police discovered McDaniel, 89, on the floor of his kitchen. Police say they'd heard two shots earlier that morning, one of which proved fatal. McDaniel was pronounced dead at UK Chandler Hospital later that day. Former Woodford County Sheriff Loren 'Squirrel' Carl told The Sun about a tense encounter with McDaniel in the early 1990s after Circuit Judge David Knox ordered cattle belonging to McDaniel be sold as part of a divorce settlement. Carl said what became a 40-plus hour standoff began when McDaniel greeted deputies arriving at his Big Sink Pike farm holding two guns and wearing a bullet-filled bandolier across his chest. "He was very, very attached to these cattle, I mean, he had them named and he took care of this farm, and it was beautiful ." Carl said. McDaniel was eventually taken into custody, but later convicted for threatening the lives of Carl and Knox. Years later, Carl said, McDaniel told a police officer he saw at McDonald's, "The next time you all come to get me, you all won't leave and I won't be going." As a convicted felon, McDaniel wasn't allowed to possess a handgun, but officers found one in his car when McDaniel came to court. Carl said they found an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle in his home, too. Carl said when McDaniel was released from prison and assigned a female probation officer, he told the judge, "I'm not going to let any woman tell me what to do." The judge explained that the alternative was a year in the county jail. Carl said McDaniel responded, "I'll take my year." The day McDaniel shot himself, current Sheriff Wayne Wright tried to persuade him to come out of his home - walking in the home to do so. Wright said McDaniel was holding a gun and used an obscenity in telling him to get out of his house. Wright left. "I thought he would listen to me," Wright told The Sun, adding that much of the morning, McDaniel was seen holding a gun to his head. Wright said police, including the department's Special Response Team which happened to have scheduled monthly training that day, were hoping the elderly man would tire and lay the gun down. "I guess he felt like he'd lost everything," Wright said.

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