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Water Hose Subdues Sniper in 11-Hour Standoff

December 11, 1986|Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A sniper dressed in a black martial arts costume and carrying a Samurai sword was subdued by a blast from a water hose Wednesday, 11 hours after he began firing a rifle at random from a building at the University of Kentucky.

Two men, including a hostage detained for three hours until police asked the sniper to release the man, were wounded in the standoff and were reported in good and satisfactory condition.

The gunman was identified as Ulysses S. Davis III, who had been fired in July from his university job with a utility services crew for fighting.

Upset at Dismissal

Davis, who worked at the school for four years, was "upset at those who testified" against him when he appealed his dismissal, said Walter Skiba, the university's director of human resources.

The blast of water knocked the sword from his hand and pushed him against a wall, "and that made it easy to take him into custody," said Sgt. Greg Howard, one of the police officers who had negotiated with him.

Davis, 25, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Fayette County Detention Center, Howard said.

Davis, who wanted to air some grievances about the university, had broken off negotiations about 4 p.m., became agitated and began to make irrational demands, and police began to fear for the safety of officers in the building, Howard said. He did not describe the demands.

Police said they would probably charge Davis with multiple counts of assault in the first degree and possibly kidnaping.

Dressed as Ninja Warrior

Davis entered the building about 6 a.m., dressed in the black outfit and face mask of a Japanese Ninja warrior, his chest crisscrossed with ammunition belts. The shots began about 15 minutes later.

Richard Briscoe, an assistant supervisor for custodial services, was held hostage, but Davis released him as soon as police asked him to, Howard said.

Briscoe was in satisfactory condition at the University of Kentucky Medical Center with eye injuries, caused when a gunshot sent glass and other debris flying, said Dr. Woodford Van Meter, an ophthalmologist at the hospital.

William Higgins, 48, a physical plant employee shot while in the building in the early stages of the standoff, was in good condition with a superficial gunshot wound in the left leg, said Dr. Donald Barker, chief of trauma service.

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