Sabbatharians leader kills self after police fire pepper balls into vehicle

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. — A central Kentucky man fatally shot himself Tuesday after a two-hour standoff that began when police tried to arrest him near a downtown area, the Leitchfield Police Department said.

Police blocked off side streets near the area where Richard Dugan of Clarkson in Grayson County was inside a vehicle with the front doors tied shut and several other people blocking him from view, according to a police statement.

When an officer approached the vehicle, Dugan displayed a handgun, pointed it at his head and threatened to kill himself, police said.

Richard Dugan

Together with his wife, Laura, Richard Dugan led a small sect called Sabbatharians. The group adheres to the doctrines of the old Worldwide Church of God.

Theologically, Sabbatharians (sometimes spelled ‘Sabbathian’) is a cult of Christianity. Sociologically the group has cult-like elements as well.

At about 3 p.m. CDT, Dugan pointed the gun toward officers, and Assistant Chief Bart Glenn fired five or six non-lethal pepper balls inside the vehicle, police said.

Dugan then started the vehicle and fired his .22-caliber pistol, hitting himself in the temple, police said.

He was treated by emergency workers at the scene and taken to Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, where he died at 3:30 p.m., police said.

Five people at the scene were charged with second-degree hindering apprehension and prosecution and disorderly conduct.

• Original title: Man kills self after police fire pepper balls into vehicle

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AP, via, USA
May 1, 2007

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This post was last updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 11:31 AM, Central European Time (CET)