by Ivan Foley
An Idaho man is in custody after authorities say he pointed a weapon at traffic along Interstate 29 in northern Platte County Tuesday afternoon.
William R. Elders, Jr., 46, of Idaho, remained in the Platte County Jail on a 24-hour hold on Wednesday morning as The Landmark went to press. Elders had not yet been charged as prosecutors were continuing to review the case.
Shortly before 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, the Platte County Sheriff's Office received multiple calls about a white male walking along southbound Interstate 29 pointing a firearm at traffic on the interstate. This was taking place a short distance north of the Tracy exit.
Members of the sheriff’s department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the area. Sgt. Jerin Almond of the sheriff’s department says Elders had been a passenger in a pickup driven by his wife. There was a disturbance in the vehicle, authorities said. The wife told authorities that Elders was making irrational statements. She stopped the pickup on the shoulder and “left to go find somebody to try to contact because he had a rifle with him.”
Calls began coming into authorities about a man pointing a weapon at traffic. When deputies responded, Almond said Elders was near a tree line along the west side of I-29. He stayed in the brush for a while as officers gave him verbal commands. He had ditched the rifle several feet from him but still had something in his hands as officers continued to give him verbal commands. A Taser was deployed on Elders prior to him being taken into custody, authorities said.
Elders was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. A rifle was recovered at the scene.
Cpt. Erik Holland with the sheriff’s department said at this time authorities do not have any information indicating that Elders fired at any vehicles.
The sheriff's office asks anyone who observed this incident prior to the arrival of law enforcement to contact the sheriff’s department at 816-858-3521.