Tactical team called in for suicidal barricaded man

Posted On Tuesday November 12, 2019

Sometimes, people need help but they don’t know how to ask for it.

That’s exactly what happened on November 4, when a 59-year-old man called 911 to say he wanted to kill himself. And, because he added he would shoot any officers who came to his house, the OPS Tactical Unit was dispatched.

“These situations are always potentially dangerous because they’re unpredictable. For instance, we didn’t know if he was armed,” said the Tactical officer who negotiated with the man and doesn’t wish to be named. “Our goal is to resolve any situation without risking our safety and the wellbeing of the individual.”

The officer has been an OPS member for 18 years, 15 of which have been with the Tactical Unit. “For whatever reason, this man was distraught and he didn’t know where to turn.”

When they got there, he refused to come out and wouldn’t let anyone inside.

In fact, his manner kept switching between anger and calm.  “But I continued speaking with him and he admitted he needed help.”

The officer spoke to the man for 20 to 30 minutes, establishing a rapport and assuring him help was available. He finally relented, throwing down a knife he had in the back of his pants and letting officers inside. They apprehended him safely without injury to himself or anyone else.

“You feel for people in these situations when they can’t cope,” said the officer. “His original plan was to kill himself when, in his mind, we busted down the door to get him, but he was surprised when we waited patiently until he was ready and that I listened to him. I’m glad we had the resolution we did.”

The man is receiving help.

If you find yourself in crisis, there are resources available to you.

  • Distress Centre Ottawa: For individuals 16 years or older living in Ottawa or the Counties of Prescott & Russell, Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, Renfrew, and Akwesa.
  • Crisis Line: A Crisis Service staffed by professionally trained volunteers who answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Royal Ottawa Crisis Line
  • Youth Services BureauAn organization offering support and innovative services and programs to youth in the community.