MOOSIC — Police in Lackawanna County tell us they are in the process of filing more charges against a man who held them in a five-hour standoff Tuesday night.
Officers say Barry Keiper nearly shot officers from inside his motel room in Moosic.
Keiper and his girlfriend are originally from the Lehigh Valley but had been living in an apartment in the Rodeway Inn on Birney Avenue in Moosic. Keiper’s girlfriend told us what led to the standoff Tuesday night. Police say it ended only after Keiper fired more than 20 shots at officers, nearly hitting some of them.
In the darkness, people on Birney Avenue said they could only see the figures of SWAT team officers on rooftops and hear sporadic popping noises. In the daylight, you can better make out what was going on there.
Bullet holes are in windows, walls, and the roof of the Rodeway Inn in Moosic. There are three bullet holes in the door of Apartment B. Police say their suspect shot at them when they knocked on the door.
After a five-hour standoff, police arrested Barry Keiper of Northampton County and charged him with making terroristic threats and assault. According to court papers, Keiper held his girlfriend inside their apartment and threatened to kill officers.
Roger Patel runs the Rodeway Inn. He says Keiper lived there for two months and was a quiet tenant until Tuesday night.
“I never see him, and I have never had an issue and his rent was always paid on time. I don’t know what happened,” Patel said.
We talked to Keiper’s girlfriend, but she did not want to go on camera. She says she was not held hostage, she says Keiper had been drinking and was depressed over their financial situation. A cousin then called 911 on their behalf. When the police showed up, that’s when the situation got worse.
Keiper’s girlfriend told Newswatch 16 that when police and a SWAT team arrived, Keiper said he wanted to die and he wanted police to kill him. The woman was released to officers. Then, police said, Keiper kept firing, nearly missing four officers. Neighbors, including Mary Solberg, were kept from their homes for five hours in the cold.
Solberg was also home almost one year ago when another man held police in a standoff at the adjacent Moosic Motor Inn but this one, she said, hits too close to home.
“This happening now here right by me, I just hope and pray while we’re still here that Roger can make sure that he has better tenants than this,” Solberg said.
Investigators say they are working on filing more charges against Keiper, including attempted murder charges for firing at officers. For now, Keiper is locked up in the Lackawanna County Prison on $400,000 bail.