A 13-hour police standoff came to an end Thursday afternoon when the suspect came out of his apartment, walked down the stairs and put on a helmet.

Seconds later the barefoot man was tackled by police and taken into custody. Riley Sills, 40, has been charged with second degree attempted murder.

Sills is the suspect in a Wednesday night stabbing that happened in the parking lot near his Town Creek apartment off West Deloney Avenue.

The victim, who was stabbed in the stomach just before midnight Wednesday, called 911 before collapsing in front of a nearby motel. He was rushed to St. John’s Health and then transferred to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. The 53-year-old is expected to survive, though his exact condition was unknown at press time.

Sills was quickly identified as the suspect but hid inside his apartment, triggering an overnight standoff that didn’t end until just after 1 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Police evacuated 16 people overnight from five nearby apartments due to safety concerns.

“Our number one concern is public safety,” Acting Chief of Police Michelle Weber said at the scene Thursday. “We’ll use all the options available to us as we wait it out.”

Members of the Jackson Police Department, Teton County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Sweetwater County Tactical Team responded. Counselors were also there to help with negotiations.

A few times throughout the standoff Sills came outside onto his second story doorstep, but he never showed any weapons. He was seen holding a butane torch inside his apartment window, police said.

Weber and Sheriff Matt Carr said their goal throughout the ordeal was to resolve it peacefully. The only force used, public information officer Carl Pelletier said, was a round of bean bags fired at Sills around midnight.

When Sills came down his steps at 1:15 p.m. Thursday he was barefoot. He walked to the bottom where he picked up a helmet and put it on. That’s when members of the tactical team took him to the ground and into custody. He was transferred to an ambulance and taken to St. John’s for evaluation.

Officers then did an initial sweep of his apartment, checking for hazardous materials, and secured the crime scene.

Sills has an extensive criminal history in Teton County. He is still on supervised probation from a 2018 felony arrest when he was charged for recording his tenants in their bathroom with a hidden camera. Sills has also been convicted of grand larceny, petty larceny, felony possession, wrongful taking and felony theft in Teton County, according to public records.

Sills was acquitted after a 2013 trial for sexual abuse of a minor. A Sheridan County jury found him not guilty, court records state.

Throughout Thursday’s standoff, Sills only made one demand: cigarettes.

Police delivered cigarettes to his doorstep not long before Sills came out and was arrested. The suspect never made any violent threats, police said.

Little information about the motive for the stabbing, or the victim, was available at press time. Police don’t believe Sills and the victim know each other.

“I want to thank the community for their patience and understanding while we worked to come to a peaceful resolution,” Weber said. “I’d like to thank the Jackson Police Department, Teton County Sheriff’s Office and tactical support from the Sweetwater critical response teams for their professionalism.”

Weber encouraged anyone who was affected by the standoff, whether they were evacuated and displaced or if news of the event was triggering, to call the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center’s 24-hour crisis line at 733-2046.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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(1) comment

Mary Friend

Good work, Officers.Your stand-off must have been cold. Just curious, where are your masks?

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