Man dead in fiery standoff at Weir Lake

July 29, 2011 / Pocono Record

One man is dead after a standoff with state police in which he took several people hostage, including his mother, and set a Gilbert house on fire late Thursday afternoon.

Robert Kish, 29, was shot by troopers after failing to surrender when he left the burning house carrying a bolt-action rifle, police said.

It all happened when state police arrived at the residence at 174C Maple Lane in the Weir Lake development for a report of a domestic disturbance sometime after 5 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department served a protection from abuse order at the same residence.

After police entered, Kish fired a single shot in what police described as an ambush style attack on troopers. One trooper was struck in the head with what was believed to be a birdshot pellet fired from a .410 gauge shotgun.

Inside the house with Kish at the time were his mother, her partner and a nurse.

Police quickly established a perimeter around the house. But then Kish set the house on fire, and prevented the others from leaving, police said.

Kish eventually left his mother and her partner leave, but remained inside with the nurse. Then as the fire spread, he came outside with the nurse but then took her back inside.

Then he came outside with the nurse a second time, this time pushing her out of the front doorway and into the front yard.

When Kish came back out a third time, he was wearing a backpack and carrying a bolt-action rifle. When he failed to surrender, police shot him.

After he was shot, a medical helicopter landed near the home where the standoff occurred and then took off about 45 minutes later. Kish was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbors Thursday afternoon said Kish had a history of trouble with the law. They said that just before the shooting occurred, he had been walking around the neighborhood cursing to himself and flailing his arms.

Court records show Kish has a lengthy rap sheet; with guilty pleas of criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and retail theft, among other offenses.

[Snip]

The trooper shot with the birdshot was treated at Pocono Medical Center and released.

State police from Fern Ridge responded to the initial call and were soon joined by troopers from the Lehighton and Swiftwater barracks. Police, detectives and a fire marshal remained on scene late Thursday night.

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