A Gose Road man is accused of firing at Monroe County deputies during a drunken standoff in front of his home on Friday night.
“Our guys are lucky to be alive and so is he,” sheriff Brad Freeman said of the harrowing standoff with 39-year-old Allen Benson around midnight on Friday. Freeman said the only reason his deputies didn’t fire their rifles back at Benson is because they knew there were people in the house behind him.
“They had every right to shoot him in the back when he ran into the house,” said Freeman. “They used a lot of restraint.”
Cpl. Tyler Rodgers and Dep. Wade Kendrick went to Benson’s Gose Road home after Robert John Mathis called 9-1-1 and said Benson was holding him at gunpoint at the home. Mathis said he had escaped the home but had been shot at by Benson, and dispatchers heard a gunshot over the phone.
Mathis told deputies he and Benson were drinking after returning from coyote hunting when Benson began acting strangely and becoming irate. Mathis said he tried to leave Benson’s home, but Benson told him he couldn’t leave and broke Mathis’ truck key out of the ignition. Mathis said Benson then grabbed a Marlin .17 caliber rifle and pointed it at him. Mathis said he then ran from the home at which point Benson fired his rifle at him. Mathis said he also had a Sig Sauer AR-15 with a night vision scope and a suppressor in the backseat of his truck and was unsure if Benson had taken it. Mathis told deputies that Benson’s wife and children were inside the home.
Deputies then saw Benson tactically taking cover behind Mathis’ truck. Deputies announced themselves as law enforcement officers and ordered Benson to raise his hands and walk toward them. Instead, Benson ignored their commands and fled inside his home. Monroe County Sgt. Willie Brown then arrived, and all three deputies took cover behind Rodgers’ patrol car. Benson exited and re-entered the home several times before taking a tactical position inside the front door.
At about 11:41 p.m., Rodgers saw Benson standing in the front doorway holding a rifle. He then saw Benson fire the rifle one time in the deputies’ direction. As Benson retreated once again inside the home, deputies called MCSO’s Security Emergency Response Team (SERT) to the scene. The home’s blinds were open, and deputies saw movement inside the home and lights being turned on and off. Kendrick then got on his PA speaker and ordered Benson to exit with his hands in the air. Benson, his wife Ivey Benson, his son Hunter Benson and his two juvenile daughters all exited the home and got on the ground, and Kendrick handcuffed Benson.
Deputies then searched Benson’s home and found inside a bedroom multiple guns as well as one spent .17 caliber shell casing outside of the front door and one spent shell casing inside the front door. Inv. Chris Landers got a search warrant and found Mathis’ AR-15 lying on the resident’s bed. He also found the rifle in the bedroom with one round inside the chamber and the magazine on the dresser and found a Ruger 9 mm. handgun on the dresser. He took all of the guns and the two spent shell casings into evidence.
After being placed in Rodgers’ patrol car, Benson, who smelled strongly of alcohol and whose speech was very slurred, asked why he was being arrested. Sgt. Cody Maples then removed Benson from Rodgers’ patrol car and put him in his own patrol car and took him to the Monroe County Jail.
Ivey Benson told Rodgers she woke up to deputies in her driveway. Ivey Benson said her husband and Mathis had gone coyote hunting earlier. She said, “Apparently they had a disagreement and a gun was shot in the air.” Hunter Benson said he woke up to his mother yelling and said he saw his father aiming a Marlin .17 caliber rifle out the window toward the patrol car lights. Hunter Benson said he took the rifle from his father, unloaded it and put it in the bedroom. Hunter Benson said he then walked into the kitchen and saw a Ruger 9 mm. handgun on the counter that was not there when he went to sleep. He said he then unloaded the handgun and put it in the bedroom as well.
Benson was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, false imprisonment, theft by taking, two counts of discharging a firearm under the influence of alcohol, two counts of discharging a firearm within 50 yards of a roadway, two counts of reckless conduct, two counts of obstruction and criminal trespass. Benson spent three nights in the Monroe County Jail and was released on Monday on a $25,000 bond.
Freeman said he thinks Benson, if convicted, could get at least 10 years in prison.