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Illinois woman captured, ending five-week standoff

An apparently deranged woman who held police at bay more than five weeks was captured Thursday when she stepped outside her home and officers shot her with rubber bullets.

Shirley Allen was hit at least twice but wasn't injured, state police said. Appearing thinner but otherwise physically well, Allen was feisty enough to scold troopers for their tactics earlier in the standoff, which right-wingers dubbed "Roby Ridge."

Before being taken to a hospital, Allen spent nearly an hour talking to officers and relatives.

Her stepdaughter, Kate Waddell, said Allen wasn't "fully rational." Her brother, Byron Dugger, said she didn't recognize him at first.

"I think she's probably as relieved right now as we are that this is over," Dugger said.

The standoff began Sept. 22 when Allen brandished a shotgun as her brother and sheriff's deputies tried to take her in for a court-ordered evaluation.

Allen's relatives requested the exam because the retired nurse was depressed and paranoid after her husband died of pancreatic cancer in 1989, and her condition had worsened.

Police had tried to get her out of the frame farmhouse with tear gas, pepper spray and Barry Manilow music, along with a visit from a favorite stepdaughter.

The standoff became a rallying point for those who compared it to Ruby Ridge and Waco as overzealous law enforcement. Others questioned the cost _ more than $15,000 a day.

Police said Allen's actions _ such as shooting and wounding a police dog sent into her home Sunday, and talking to herself about suicide _ showed she was dangerous to herself and others.