Gunman faces life sentence for standoff

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A man who kept police at bay during a lengthy armed standoff was charged with multiple felonies Wednesday and faces a life sentence if convicted.

John Joseph Christner, 40, was arraigned Wednesday before 25th District Court Judge David Zelenak on nine felony counts and one misdemeanor for allegedly barricading himself and his wife in their home in the 1500 block of Cleophus.

According to the charges filed by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Lincoln Park police reports, the standoff began at 3:05 a.m. Sept. 30. Police responded to reports of a domestic situation and allegations that Christner assaulted his wife and son.

Christner was armed with a long gun, and was outside when police first arrived on the scene. Christner retreated inside and refused to surrender to police. A SWAT team was sent to the location, and several shots were reportedly fired at police during the day before Christner surrendered at 10:30 p.m.

Police continue to investigate the incident to determine the number of shots fired by Christner, who was charged Wednedsay with three felony counts of assault with intent to commit murder — each count carrying a potential life sentence — four counts of felonious assault, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, felony firearm and aggravated domestic violence.

Christner remained in custody on $1 million bond and will next appear in court for a preliminary examination Oct. 16.

(James Mitchell can be reached at