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Campground standoff ends with second man dead

BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Published September 4, 2001

VANDALIA (AP) A campground standoff ended yesterday with a second man fatally shot after pointing a gun at police, police said.

Paul Wong
Nikolaus Rohm, left, comforts his mother, Geraldine Livermore yesterday at a police command post near Vandalia shortly before they learned that Livermore"s son and Nikolaus" brother Rolland Rohm had been shot by police<br><br>AP PHOTO

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Rolland Rohm, 28, was shot about 6:30 a.m. yesterday, the day after his roommate was fatally shot by an FBI agent, Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood Jr. said.

Grover T. Crosslin, the owner of the Rainbow Farms campground, was fatally shot by a federal agent Monday evening. The standoff between police and the pair began Friday. A third man, Brandon J. Peoples, suffered minor injuries when Crosslin was shot and was questioned by authorities but was not in police custody.

Underwood said Rohm was shot after several orders by police to put his weapon down. Rohm pointed the gun at a Michigan State Police officer and was shot by state police, FBI Special Agent Dawn Clenney said.

Underwood said about 3:45 a.m., Rohm asked that his son be brought to see him and told police that if he was, he would surrender at 7 a.m.

"We were actually having a dialogue with Mr. Rohm and he was in the process, we felt, of bringing this to a successful conclusion," Underwood said.

The sheriff said police were in the process of granting the request when shortly after 6 a.m., a fire was reported at the Rainbow Farm residence. Rohm was then seen leaving the residence with a long gun and walking into the yard, Underwood said.

"He comes out with a weapon and he engages officers again and they have to respond," Underwood said.

He said a state police bomb squad was checking the campground because they believed it had been booby-trapped. Clenney said officials were investigating and still did not know what sparked the standoff.

"It"s not over by any means," Clenney said.

The standoff began Friday when deputies went to the farm after neighbors said Crosslin was burning buildings on his property. The sheriff"s department said an anonymous call warned them that the fire was set up to ambush police, so officers set up a perimeter around the camp for safety reasons.

Rohm lived at the campground with Crosslin, 47. Crosslin was shot after pointing a gun at an FBI agent, Underwood said. He had become agitated after authorities denied a request for negotiations through a third party, Underwood said.

Rohm"s stepfather, John Livermore, said he thinks his son walked out of the residence expecting to see his son. He said the family may pursue legal action against the FBI and state police.

"Rollie himself is not violent. He was slow, he was easy-led. He had a learning disability and he trusted them (police)," said Livermore of Rogersville, Tenn. He said he didn"t know the exact nature of the disability.

Rohm"s mother, Gerry Livermore, said earlier that she had feared there might be a confrontation between Crosslin and her son and police.

She said the police "wanted to shut the campground down and what better way to do it than to get rid of Tom," said Livermore, 46. She went to high school in Indiana with Crosslin.

The Livermores drove from Tennessee after learning of the standoff on their local television station.

Dori Leo, Crosslin"s and Rohm"s attorney, said she spoke to Rohm late Monday night and had planned to return Tuesday to try to persuade him to leave the farm peacefully. Rohm and his 12-year-old son, who was placed in foster care about a month or two ago, had lived with Crosslin "as a family unit" for at least five years, Leo said.

Leo said Crosslin was upset because Rohm"s son, who he helped raise, had been taken from the home.

Authorities arrested Crosslin and five others in May after a two-year investigation into allegations of marijuana use at the 34-acre campground, about 30 miles northeast of South Bend, Ind. Crosslin was charged with felony possession of a firearm, growing marijuana and maintaining a drug house.

"Because of those criminal charges, his farm was in jeopardy of being taken away. ... Now you have a man who is confronted with losing his family unit," Leo said. "Tom and (Rolland) were going to stay on the farm and they were not going to leave it no matter what."

She said Rohm also had faced criminal charges.


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