Terry Joseph Ladner (Photo source: Harrison County jail docket)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
A standoff sparked by a child custody dispute in Harrison County ended peacefully Tuesday with two parents in custody.
Sheriff Troy Peterson said Terry Joseph Ladner, 32, and Tara Elizabeth Waltman, 34, are charged with kidnapping their three children and barricading themselves inside a bus and home for about two hours.
Peterson said it all started when deputies showed up to the home on Firetower Rd. to serve a court order taking custody of the couple’s children. Ladner reportedly put a gun to his neck and said his kids weren’t going anywhere.
Peterson said Ladner and Waltman armed themselves and took the children onto an old bus surrounded by dense foliage in the back of the property. Ladner reportedly fired a shot from a weapon, but it is unclear if he shot at deputies.
Ladner and Waltman moved the children from the bus to the main house as deputies called for backup. Peterson said that’s when Ladner fired a second shot to make deputies back away.
Peterson said an investigator with the sheriff’s department was able to diffuse the situation, and the couple came out of the house unarmed. We’re told Ladner’s mother was also in the home talking to deputies on the phone.
Ladner and Waltman were arrested and charged with three counts each of kidnapping. Their bonds were set at $75,000.
Peterson said the children were unharmed and are now in the custody of family members.