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TPD: A peaceful end to an armed gunman situation

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Posted at 8:40 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 23:40:28-04

Tucson Police released the following statement about a peaceful end to an armed gunman situation that happened on Thursday.

"On July 21, 2016 officers from Operations Division South responded to the 1700 block of West Ransom Oaks Dr for a report of domestic violence incident. Prior to arrival, officers learned that a male in his 20's had broken a window in the residence and then left the home with a handgun.

When officers arrived on scene they located the suspect sitting on a curb in front of the home. The suspect had a gun in his hand and was threatening to harm himself. Officers were able to quickly remove family members from the house, block the streets and conduct evacuations of nearby residences.

The suspect was not responding to police commands, but was also not threatening, pointing, or recklessly displaying the handgun. With the surrounding area secured, officers slowed the investigation down and began trying to talk with the suspect utilizing a PA system from behind cover. Officers continued for a considerable amount of time, however the suspect was not responding.

The Tucson Police Department's new TRACC Unit (Tucson Real-time Analytical Crime Center) provided intelligence on the suspect and learned he had a mental health history, prior suicidal threats and previous weapons violations. SWAT members responded to the scene along with Hostage Negotiators, but were kept out of sight. Negotiators began speaking with the suspect through the PA system and sent messages from family members, encouraging him to put down the gun.

Negotiators offered food, water and a telephone to the suspect, who finally spoke to them, indicating he wanted water and the phone. The items were delivered to the suspect using the SWAT Team's robot. The suspect drank the water and spoke with negotiators on the phone. Within minutes, the suspect agreed to surrender and placed the gun on to the ground. He then walked to officers and was taken into custody.

This was an excellent job by all officers, commanders and specialized units involved. Although the suspect was handling the gun during the entire four hour incident, they recognized that this individual was in a state of mental health crisis and they transitioned their response accordingly. That decision led to a peaceful resolution without incident or injury to anyone."