SPOKANE, Wash. -Spokane Police officers were able to successfully negotiate the peaceful resolution of a standoff with a man they say was trying get officers to shoot him Sunday evening.
An officer responding to an unrelated call near 2nd and Scott Sunday evening noticed an "agitated" man standing on the street corning watching the officer. Checking to see if he was ok, the officer drove over to the man but before the officer could get out of his patrol car, the man standing on the corner pulled out a gun and held it against his head demanding the officer shoot him.
Positioning himself in a way to protect the public and himself, the officer called for backup and convinced the man the man to drop the gun. The man dropped the gun but refused to move away from it.
Within 10 minutes of talking to the man, he was taken into custody without incident.
The gun was a replica, but police also recovered an extended folding knife the man had also pulled out.
"These types of situations are extremely dangerous for the subjects involved, the responding officers, and the public," Officer Nick Briggs said in a press release. "SPD officers routinely train in communication techniques as well as tactics to end these volatile incidents in as positive a manner as possible. In choosing a strategy to mitigate the risks, officers are constantly evaluating ways to detain the involved person while balancing the necessity for the safety of innocent bystanders to be paramount."
The man will face criminal charges for displaying a weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm. He will also be referred to mental health services, according to SPD.
"The existence of criminal charges potentially increases the chances of the person receiving long-term services through court mandates," Officer Briggs added. "In these situations the criminal justice system and the mental health system are both crucial in ensuring the person is held accountable for creating a very dangerous situation, as well as connecting the subject with the resources they need to better their life."
If you or someone you know is battling thoughts of self-harm please seek assistance. One resource in Spokane is the 24-hour First Call for Help hotline at 509-838-4428.