The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence Thursday afternoon along Illinois Route 37 near Watson for a report of a male acting erratically, according to Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns.

Kuhns said the male was lighting items on fire in his yard and throwing rocks at cars as they drove by.

“He displayed a knife and threatened people driving by on the road,” Kuhns said. “When police arrived on the scene, he fled into his residence and he is currently barricaded inside his house.”

Kuhns said police arrived on the scene at approximately 2 p.m.

“We know from past experience he owns weapons and has them in his house,” he said.

Kuhns said Thursday afternoon, the man, who police are not identifying at this time, periodically throws things out of the house but is not talking with law enforcement. He said police on the scene have tried to talk to the male, however, the man is not talking to police.

Also responding to the situation are the Illinois State Police and Effingham City Police.

A law enforcement and medical staging area is set up close to the scene. A helicopter from Air Evac Lifeteam arrived at the staging area. Two ambulances from RuralMed were also standing by at the scene.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Charles Mills can be reached at or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300126.

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Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.