By Anica Padilla
FORT COLLINS, Colorado (KCNC) — On Sunday night in Fort Collins, a man called 911 multiple times — to report himself. Others called emergency dispatch to report the man sitting near a restaurant in midtown with a handgun pointed at his own head. Now, the chief of police is praising his squad for saving at least one life.
“Early on Sunday evening, dispatch got a call about a man sitting near a restaurant in midtown with a handgun pointed at his own head. Our officers responded to the area and couldn’t find anyone matching the description near the restaurant,” officials wrote on Facebook. “They spread out, and one officer noticed a man at the far end of the shopping center parking lot.
“The man had a handgun tucked into the waistband of his pants and, when he saw the officer, began yelling profanities and reaching toward the gun. The officer kept his distance and kept eyes on the man to make sure he wasn’t putting any community members in immediate danger.”
“Concerned about the safety of staff and shoppers, officers formed a contact team and tried to keep the man from getting closer. The man wouldn’t cooperate and continued reaching toward his waistband.”
“Officers used a less-lethal 40mm launcher, which launches hard foam batons,” investigators stated.
The tactic worked, and officers were able to safely take the man into custody.
A loaded handgun was recovered during the arrest.
Medical crews evaluated the man and after he was cleared he was booked into the Larimer County Jail on existing warrants and charges related to this incident.
“After investigating further, police learned that the man had actually called 911 himself several times to get a law enforcement response and was likely trying to get police to shoot him.”
“Once again, our officers were faced with a challenging, dynamic call with high risk factors. They kept the priorities of life at the forefront and were able to give this volatile suspect ample opportunity to surrender.”
“At FCPS, we also look beyond the initial call to find opportunities for long-term resolutions. Our Mental Health Response Team reviews cases like this, follows up with people experiencing crisis, and works to connect them with local support services and care providers,” the chief of police wrote.
“Our officers truly are amazing professionals who use time, distance, and strong tactical decision-making to safely resolve dangerous situations, then take after-action steps to help create a safer future for all.”
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