A Welch man charged in Craig County for shooting with intent to kill was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.
Judge Gary Maxey ordered Danny Epperson to provide the court with evidence that he is competent to stand trial before proceeding with his case.
Epperson, 49, is being held in Craig County on a $1 million bond after he allegedly shot at officers during a standoff at his home on Aug. 29.
According to Craig County Sheriff Jimmie Sooter, authorities responded to Epperson's rural Welch home at approximately 4 p.m. in regard to a possible hostage situation.
“When we arrived, there was no one else at the residence except Mr. Epperson,” Sooter said. “So, we really don't know if there was ever actually a hostage.”
Sooter said he is not sure who made the call for help, but his department was informed by the caller that Epperson had fired shots at a male relative at the residence.
“Right after we arrived, he (Epperson) shot approximately 15 rounds inside the house,” Sooter said.
Captain Rusty Satterwhite approached the residence in an attempt to negotiate with Epperson, according to Sooter.
“While Satterwhite was standing on the front porch, Epperson busted out a window and held a rifle to Satterwhite's chest, saying ‘you need to leave or I will shoot you,'” Sooter said.
Sooter said Epperson began firing shots at authorities from inside the residence.
“One of the shots Epperson fired came within 6 inches of a deputy,” Sooter said.
Craig County authorities enlisted the assistance of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Several troopers responded to the scene and OHP negotiators spent eight hours with Epperson, attempting to get him to surrender.
In the final hours of negotiations, officials used state-of-the-art equipment that enabled them to advance a robotic communication device to Epperson's doorstep.
“Epperson yelled to authorities that, if they didn't disconnect the lights on the mechanical robot, he was going to shoot it,” Sooter said.
After Epperson refused to surrender, authorities decided to fire canisters of tear gas into the residence, according to Sooter.
“He had every opportunity to come out,” Sooter said.
According to Sooter, Epperson dumped gasoline on the porch and filled sandwich bags with gasoline that he affixed to the residence.
“Within 15 seconds of the tear gas canisters hitting the house, Epperson lit a fire and came out of the window,” Sooter said.
The fire was extinguished and Epperson was taken into custody at 1:30 a.m.