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Police Negotiator Talks About Suicidal Standoff

When a man with a gun to his head threatened suicide in a standoff with police in Bannock County on Wednesday night, it took strong negotiation to resolve the situation peacefully.

Law enforcement officials said 30-year-old Jeremy Andrus of Blackfoot led police on a high-speed chase that turned into a suicidal standoff around 9:30 p.m. After his tires were destroyed by police spikes, he continued driving on rims, which lit his car on fire. He was cornered by police by the side of his burning car.

Police said it started when Andrus threatened his ex-wife at a home in Rockford before firing shots into the air outside the home. Andrus then took off, leading police on a high-speed chase through Bingham County and into Fort Hall in Bannock County. The chase ended at a standoff at the intersection of Reservation Road and Highway 91.

Bingham County Sheriff Detective Randy Herbert responded to the scene when he got a call from dispatch. They needed him ? fast.

?You take one phrase at a time. ? ?How are you feeling?? you know? And just listen. Really it is the biggest key, is just listen,? said Herbert.

Herbert said other law enforcement officials had done a ?really good job? with dealing with Andrus on the phone by the time Herbert spoke to Andrus.

?You’re always nervous, and I think as long as you are nervous it’s probably better than not being nervous,? Herbert said.

If Herbert was nervous, it wasn?t obvious to Andrus. He told a negotiator he’d put down the gun, only if Herbert came to the scene, so he did.

?It’s always nice to help somebody out. That’s why we do what we do, to help out — to save a life,? said Herbert. It’s the ?we? that’s most important to him — the dispatchers, the officers, the team that worked quickly to end a bad situation. ?Everybody had a really strong part to play, and really I’m just falling in behind.?

We?re learning that Andrus was taking a recent divorce pretty hard. Before the most recent marriage, he was married before to a woman named Robin Henderson, who lives in Texas. She told the station that Andrus threatened suicide to their daughter two weeks ago over the phone.

No charges have been filed so far against Andrus. Bingham County Sheriff Dave Johnson said aggravated assault and eluding charges are possible, but Andrus is being evaluated for mental competency, and law enforcement will wait to hear from doctors at Portneuf Medical Center before making a decision.

Coming up at Local News 8 at 10, we’ll show you an interview with the ex-wife who was allegedly threatened Wednesday night.

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