Facebook played central role in Latonia standoff

COVINGTON, Ky. – The standoff between police and an U.S. Army veteran that lasted for more than 19 hours began with a simple Facebook post.

“Important announcement at 6 p.m.,” were the words Michael Vaughan wrote to family and friends early Saturday morning.

A couple people “liked” the post. The next one set up alarms.

He told the world his girlfriend broke up with him that day, and that he didn’t have anything else to live for.

That prompted someone to call the Covington police to check on the veteran at home with his three children.

The posts on Vaughan's Facebook page, which has since been taken off the website, continued to grow in threats and anger.

Vaughan shared his early confrontation with police, resulting in multiple law enforcement agencies called to his home in the 4300 block of Michigan Avenue.

“I immediately got my rifle and shot over their heads  . . .” he posted of police attempting to contact him as SWAT units arrived.

It would be a night of gunfire, and fear in Latonia, and for much of it Vaughan interacted with authorities and friends online.

“Shots fired at my house. Ensure to thank senator rand paul and his assistant bobbette franklin for their help. Swat team is here . . . see how well they do what I have night visioin too”

Vaughan shared his children were home, asleep as Newport, Kenton County and Covington police surrounded his house and asked neighbors to stay indoors. He swore he would never hurt his children.

Vaughan described himself as a career military man who signed up for the Army in 1989. He served in Afghanistan. Recently, he worked for a security consultant firm and was working toward a law degree.

As the evening progressed into early morning, family and friends begged the man they knew to stand down and think of his children.

“If anything, please just get your kids out of that house and into the care of someone you trust. We are all praying for you Mike,” wrote Cheryl Ann McCarty.

Vaughan would eventually allow his children to leave his house at about 8:30 a.m. And perhaps, a few hours later McCarty’s prayers were answered after Vaughan set his house on fire, shot at police, and was shot in the arm before surrendering to authorities.

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