A domestic altercation in Vermillion that began in the early morning hours of Christmas day ended tragically.
A Vermillion man is dead and his two children are safe after a standoff that began at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday.
The man apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot after keeping local law enforcement at bay for approximately 12 hours.
At 1 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a residence on South Crawford Road near Main Street and determined that an armed man was in the residence with two of his minor children.
The immediate area was evacuated and negotiators made contact with the subject, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the Vermillion Police Department.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., the man agreed to release his children and they were evacuated from the area.
Despite efforts to negotiate with the man, he stopped communicating with law enforcement officials at approximately 10:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police secured nearby residences and used other resources to safely approach the residence in an effort to once again begin communicating with the subject.
At 1:30 p.m., the man was found dead in the residence. According to the VPD press statement, "Initial investigation points to single self-inflicted gunshot wound as the likely cause of death."
The Vermillion Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff's Department, and the state Division of Criminal Investigation are currently investigating the incident.
The Yankton Police Department, the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the University of South Dakota Police joined these agencies in the early morning hours to stabilize the standoff situation with hopes to bring it to a peaceful conclusion.