HEMET: Suicidal man, armed with numerous weapons, safely detained after short, but tense stand-off
Writer’s note: The armed and suicidal man in this incident was not pictured or named, due to his status as a “victim.” All suicidal subjects are considered victims, not criminals or suspects.
HEMET – After a brief, but tense standoff, City of Hemet police officers managed to safely detain a suicidal man who was reportedly armed with a handgun and other firearms and was threatening to kill himself Tuesday, April 18. The incident happened in the 300 block of Montero Court, north of W. Devonshire Avenue and east of Warren Road in Hemet.
Police responded to the residence shortly after 7:30 p.m., after the victim’s wife called 911 to report that her husband was depressed and feeling suicidal.
The woman told emergency dispatchers she was at the residence with her husband and children. She also told dispatchers her husband was armed and acting irrationally, saying he wanted to either kill himself or be killed by responding police officers.
As officers rushed to the home they asked dispatchers to have the 911 caller and her children immediately leave the home for their own protection. At the officer’s advice, the woman and her children got into a vehicle and left the residence, parking at a nearby neighbor’s home.
Moments before officers began arriving in the area, dispatchers advised the responding officials that the man had multiple weapons registered to him, including a “high-powered, assault-style” rifle, a shotgun and several other weapons available to him inside the residence.
Based on statements made by the suicidal victim, as officers started arriving in the area, they immediately began coordinating together to establish a perimeter around the home and the neighborhood, preparing for a potentially prolonged stand-off.
For the public’s safety, officers temporarily blocked vehicular traffic along nearby busy Warren Road. Officers also kept anyone from entering the small, residential neighborhood where the victim’s home is located.
As citizens who reside in and around the neighborhood saw the flood of patrol vehicles and officers converging into their neighborhood, people immediately took to social media; asking for information and discussing all the sudden and unexpected police activity in their normally, quiet neighborhood.
Several began sharing unconfirmed and inaccurate information that officials were hunting for a shooting suspect who was last seen fleeing through the nearby hills while armed with a shotgun.
Some wrote on social media that they had locked all their doors, gathered their families and were hiding inside their homes.
While officers prepared to attempt to make contact with the suicidal subject, they were told the victim had retreated to the master bedroom towards the rear of the residence. At that time, it was not immediately known if the man was still armed or if he planned on acting upon his suicidal thoughts and statements.
Once officers were all in their positions around the residence, officers began using a PA system to attempt to make contact with the man inside his residence.
According to witnesses at the location, while the incident was happening officers could be seen surrounding the home, taking cover behind trees and vehicles, stationed with rifles throughout the neighborhood and parked along other streets in and around the small group of short residential streets.
Despite being ready for the worst possible outcome, less than 15 minutes after receiving the first call from the victim’s wife, officers updated that the man was exiting his residence, with his hands up and that he was fully cooperating with officers’ verbal commands.
Within minutes officers advised dispatchers that they had safely detained the victim without incident.
American Medical Response medics were summoned to transport the man to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
The victim’s wife and children were not harmed and there were no reported injuries related to the potentially deadly incident.
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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.