GREENVILLE — A 25-year-old Celina man was airlifted for medical care Monday evening after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a 3-hour standoff with law enforcement at Greenville Baptist Temple.
At approximately 6:19 p.m., the Darke County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting that a gunman armed with a rifle was at the Greenville Baptist Temple, located at 4689 Childrens Home Bradford Road, prompting a massive response from both the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville Police Department.
The male subject, identified as Vincent Veloz, 25, of Celina, was reportedly threatening to harm himself, holding an AR-15 rifle to his head in the church parking lot. Five people in the church at that time barricaded themselves in the basement.
Veloz communicated with a 911 dispatcher and deputies arriving on the scene. He retreated into the front entrance of the church while keeping the gun pointed at himself and making demands. He remained on the first level of the church and demanded that anyone from the church be removed. Deputies were able to escort all citizens from the church and secure them.
Crisis negotiators spoke to Veloz for three hours trying to get him to put down the firearm and surrender. At 9:26 p.m, Veloz shot himself while inside the church. Darke County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team and Tactical Paramedics immediately moved into the church to render lifesaving care to Veloz. He was transported by Greenville Township Fire and Rescue to an awaiting CareFlight chopper which transported Veloz to a Dayton hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
Veloz has been charged with first-degree felony aggravated burglary, for trespassing into the church while possessing a deadly weapon and while the church was occupied by others.
The incident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and will be presented to the Darke County Prosecuting Attorney for review of potential additional charges.
Jim Comer covers accidents, fires and crime for Darke County Media. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org