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Suspect in custody after search for armed person hiding in Bloomington sewers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A man who police believed was armed with a rifle was apprehended Tuesday in Bloomington.

Bloomington police say the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Eli Swartzentruber, was safely removed from a storm drain beneath Kirkwood Avenue.

Swartzentruber was checked out at a hospital and transported to the Monroe County Jail. He faces preliminary charges of attempted battery with a deadly weapon and intimidation.

Bloomington police began searching for Swartzentruber in the sewers about 12:30 p.m. after reports that he swung a steel rod at people in Seminary Park and later threw a hatchet at people in a Kroger parking lot.

Officers began checking the area and found clothing hanging from a railing that matched those worn by the suspect. The clothing was on a railing near a very large storm drain, where police eventually made contact with Swartzentruber.

Police searched Swartzentruber upon his arrest and found an empty handgun holster, Bloomington police said in a statement. A search of the sewer turned up several unfired .30-06 rifle cartridges, a hand scythe, and a machete, but officers did not find a rifle. Officers will return to the sewers on Wednesday to continue their search for the rifle.

According to Bloomington police, Swartzentruber had a warrant out of Daviess County for felony Battery Against a Public Safety Official. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was also trying to locate Swartzentruber as they had probable cause for his arrest on several felony charges.

Below is earlier coverage from News 8

UPDATE: Indiana University Police confirmed Tuesday evening on Twitter that they have a suspect in custody. They say Franklin Hall will remain closed until Wednesday.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police near Indiana University’s campus are searching for an armed suspect who is barricaded in an underground sewer system.

Indiana University Bloomington says an armed subject has entered the storm drain off campus near First and Walnut streets. The Indiana University Police Department says it is not an active-shooter situation.

According to a post from their Twitter page, people should avoid the area around Dunn Meadow near Indiana Avenue, and the area of Sixth Street and Indiana Avenue. Their Twitter also says students living in Franklin Hall should shelter inside.

Indiana University Police Department said police are at the end of the storm drain run near Dunn Meadow.

They confirmed in a Twitter post around 1 p.m. Tuesday that the area is contained. Police say other areas of campus are not affected.

The Bloomington Police Department warned of smoke and loud bangs that would be heard as officers try to get the person to come out.