Authorities detain man threatening suicide

Published 5:18 pm Monday, January 14, 2013

Authorities transported a Verbena man threatening suicide to Brookwood Hospital early Saturday morning.

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis said sheriff’s deputies along with a Clanton police officer responded to a call at 4:30 a.m. Saturday of a subject possibly attempting suicide with a handgun in the middle of the roadway on County Road 59 near Interstate 65 Exit 200.

“Once the officers arrived on the scene they found a white male standing in the middle of the roadway with a handgun,” Davis said. “The gentleman ran into the woods once the officers arrived and fired one round.”

Davis said the officers did not return any fire and worked to coax the individual to come out of the woods without harming anyone.

“The individual was within shouting distance of the officers,” Davis said. “They communicated with the individual trying to get him to put the weapon down.”

Davis said both the sheriff’s department SWAT team and the Clanton SWAT team were activated to the area when the individual put the weapon down and walked out of the woods.

Davis said Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin was notified and a commitment order was issued for the individual to be transported to Brookwood Hospital.

Davis said as of Monday morning the individual was still at Brookwood.

Davis said this is the second time an incident has occurred with this particular individual whose name was not released.

“About four years ago we had a similar incident with the same gentleman who had taken a weapon and gone into the woods,” Davis said. “In the earlier event we were also able to go into the woods and talk him into putting the weapon down where he was taken into custody and received medical treatment.”

Davis said the officers avoided going into the woods after the individual due to wanting to protect individuals passing by in their vehicles from harm.

“The officers’ primary goal at that time was to protect the motorists,” Davis said. “Once they convinced the individual to come out of the woods he was taken into custody with no fighting or scuffling.”

Davis commended the officers who responded to the scene, noting their professionalism and training for dealing with the individual.

“I am glad no one was injured and I am certainly glad that he did not injure himself,” Davis said. “The officers were able to take a very difficult and dangerous situation and return to their families safely. This could have been a lot worse.”