More details surface following Vermillion’s sad Christmas

More details have emerged, through both police and news sources, concerning the Christmas day standoff in Vermillion that ended with an apparent suicide.

In a press release it sent to local media Wednesday, the Vermillion Police Department declined to release the identity of the deceased or any other members of his household involved in the incident which began in the early morning hours of Dec. 25.

The Sioux City (IA) Journal reported Thursday that the standoff ended after Greg Girard, 42, died apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot in the family's Vermillion home located on Crawford Road.

The standoff between subject, who has yet to be officially identified, and local law enforcement began after a domestic altercation in early Tuesday and ended approximately 12 hours later when law enforcement entered his home and found his body.

According to the police statement, the subject's wife fled to the nearby residence of an off-duty police officer at 1 a.m. Tuesday. She told the officer that her husband had held her against her will for several hours, assaulted her, threatened to kill her and destroyed her cell phone to prevent her from calling for help.

A call was placed to on-duty officers to respond. Before police arrived, Girard was seen entering his garage, where he was known to keep several firearms.

Responding police officers contacted the man by phone, and he told them he was armed and intended to kill himself or force officers to kill him. He also said the couple's two minor children were in the home and he would not let them leave.

Following further negotiations, the man agreed to release the children at approximately 4:30 a.m. The children were reunited with their mother, who had been taken to the hospital for her injuries.

In an attempt to bring the situation to a peaceful conclusion, the Vermillion Police Department continued negotiations with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Yankton Police Department, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Vermillion Fire Department and Ambulance Service and the University of South Dakota Police.

People living in homes adjacent to the Girard house were contacted and given an opportunity to evacuate to a safe location. The Sioux City Journal reported that some residents were taken to The Bluffs Golf Course clubhouse, located nearby. Roads leading to the neighborhood also were blocked.

At 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, the subject stopped communicating with negotiators.

Perimeter officers heard a gunshot and saw that a round had exited through the rear window of the home. Officers used tactical resources to approach the residence, assess his condition and reestablish communication.

At 1:30 p.m., he was found dead in the residence.

The Vermillion Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Office and DCI continue to investigate the incident.

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