Deputies safely detain suicidal man in Redding after brief standoff

REDDING – A suicidal man armed with a realistic looking – but replica – handgun was safely detained by Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday, May 5, Shasta Sheriff’s Deputy J. Ruiz wrote in a press release. During the incident, Airport road was temporarily closed and nearby residents were cautioned to remain in their homes, for their own safety.

Deputies have only identified the man as a 26-year old resident of a group home in the general area. Deputies later learned the male has a history of mental health issues. Following the incident, deputies transported the man to Shasta Regional Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.

At about 7:17 p.m., an employee at the Dutch Brothers business on Airport Road near Rancho Road along the southwest edge of the city limits of Redding called 911 and told SHASCOM emergency communications dispatchers he was approached by a man “who was acting strange and made a comment about wanting to kill himself,” Ruiz explained. The man told the employee he had a gun.The Dutch Brothers employee never saw a gun, but out of concern for the male and the general public’s safety, called Shascom to report the incident.

“The Dutch Brothers employee never saw a gun, but out of concern for the male and the general public’s safety, called Shascom to report the incident,” according to RUiz.

The male subject then walked away and was last seen across the street from the business on the east side of Airport Rd.

Deputies responded to the area to look for the suicidal man. Deputies quickly located a subject matching the description provided by the Dutch Brothers employee walking a few blocks north of Dutch Brothers. Deputies found the man walking northbound on the west side of Airport Road, just north of Blue Jay Drive.

Because they did not know if the man actually had a gun or not, for officer safety reasons deputies positioned their vehicles a safe distance away from the male; but close enough to be able to communicate with him.

As deputies began to talk to the man, he stated he wanted to die. The man then placed his right hand into his coat pocket and pulled a gun out of his pocket. The man then pressed the barrel of the gun against his head.

The gun, which appeared to be real and did not have an orange tip, was a silver, plastic replica gun that looked realistic from a distance. “Deputies used binoculars to view the gun while it was in the man’s possession, but could not positively confirm it was a replica gun,” according to Ruiz.

Deputies began to verbally negotiate with and calm the extremely agitated man.

“Not knowing if the gun was real or not, for the public’s safety, deputies shut down Airport Road both north and south of Blue Jay Drive,” Ruiz said. “Residents within the general area were notified via an information phone system to remain inside.”

Deputies continued to negotiate with the distraught man for about 20 minutes, as the man continued telling deputies he wanted to die.

“The male would move the gun around from location to location, pointing the barrel at his head, placing it in his mouth and under his chin, while continuing to say he wanted to die and that he was going to shoot himself,” Ruiz explained about the incident. “The male never pointed the gun at deputies on scene or towards any other location, other than himself.”

As deputies continued to negotiate with the male, they promised him they would allow him to use a phone, if he placed the gun on the ground.

The man finally put the gun down and agreed to walk away from it. He then walked towards two deputies, one of which was displaying a phone to provide the phone call the man was promised.

As the deputies made contact with the man and attempted to detain the man, a brief struggle ensued as he resisted and he resisted deputies efforts to take him into custody. “He was taken to the ground and placed into handcuffs with the assistance of other deputies,” Ruiz explained. “Neither the deputies nor the male sustained any injuries during this incident.”

After allowing the man to use a phone to contact a representative from the group home where he resides as promised, deputies transported him to Shasta County Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.


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