Police, family relieved after peaceful end to 34-hour standoff

Coventry standoff suspect Larry LaChance

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A man has surrendered after a 34-hour armed standoff in Coventry involving a SWAT team, three police departments and the Rhode Island State Police.

Thursday night, Coventry police said Larry LaChance, 60, voluntarily exited his home after refusing to evacuate since Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. No one was hurt.

LaChance left the scene in an ambulance around 7:30 p.m. for an evaluation after the peaceful resolution.

“I’m just so glad he is out safe,” said LaChance’s daughter, Christi Patterson. “I’m just so glad he is okay, and I am so glad that it is all done.”

Patterson was inside the home when officers were initially dispatched there to investigate a domestic disturbance involving a firearm.

The call came in from Louisiana, according to police. Patterson said her husband was the one to make the call.

Police were already familiar with Mr. LaChance after engaging in a similar 18-20 hour standoff with him in 2014, so they arrived on the scene with detectives.

Patterson left the house shortly after police arrived, but LaChance remained inside, armed with multiple weapons, refusing to come out for two days. Neighbors were evacuated and not permitted to go back onto Raccoon Run Road, and police asked National Grid to cut off the power to the house.

Firearms and BB guns seized from Larry LaChance's home (Photo: RI State Police)
Firearms and BB guns seized from Larry LaChance’s home (Photo: RI State Police)

After the standoff was over, Col. MacDonald said the techniques used to coax LaChance out included gassing the home.

“We tried to keep him up and fatigued, and continually talk to him and keep him awake. So I think at some point, that took its toll and he decided a few minutes ago he had enough.”

The colonel also said the bomb squad used robots to see inside the house, and state police used their armored ‘BearCat’ vehicle that helps them safely get close to potentially dangerous situations.

“It did the job we bought it for,” said Capt. John Allen of the Rhode Island State Police. The camera on the BearCat was used to see and communicated with LaChance

There was also an explosion on the scene around noon Thursday, which police confirmed was set off by law enforcement in order to open the front door of the house.

Police on Friday revealed they seized two shotguns, a handgun, and a number of BB guns from the home.

LaChance’s family waited outside for the entire two days, and were relieved that the standoff ended without any injuries.

“We especially want to thank the Coventry Police Chief for his understanding and patience,” said Patricia Menders, the suspect’s ex-wife and the mother of his children.

“We’ve been talking about this for two days,” Col. MacDonald said, referring to himself and Capt. Allen. “How we wanted it to end this way, and we’re extremely happy that it did,” he said.

Neighbors began returning their homes around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police said LaChance will face a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor counts of domestic disorderly conduct, domestic failure to relinquish a phone, and discharge of a firearm in a compact area.

The assault charge was added after police inspected the home and found LaChance had fired a shotgun in the direction of the front door, according to Col. MacDonald.

LaChance is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.