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Man in standoff at Alaska military base surrenders

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - An armed and apparently suicidal man surrendered to police on Thursday after a four-hour standoff at the entrance to an Alaska military base, officials said.

Joseph Hanifin, 23, was arrested on reckless endangerment charges outside Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and will undergo a mental evaluation, Anchorage police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said.

Police, who had been alerted early in the morning that Hanifin was possibly suicidal, spotted his car and followed him to the main entrance of the base, which is shared by the U.S. Air Force and Army.

They then surrounded him with police vehicles, called in special security and police dogs, and negotiated his surrender, Lammers said.

"I guess he decided his time was up," she said.

Hanifin, who is not a member of the military or connected to the base, was armed with two handguns, Lammers said.

Operations at the base continued as normal during the standoff, but the incident forced authorities to close the base's main gate until Hanifin was taken into custody.

(Reporting by Yereth Rosen; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)

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