A City of Rehoboth Beach Road Officer Responds to a Suicide-By-Cop Call
911: Suicidal subject. A Rehoboth cop faces a man with a death wish.
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“State police just contacted us and stated that your suicidal subject is armed with a handgun. They also stated that he is a marksman.”
So now I get some information. I guess then was better than later, but I sure wished I wasn’t standing in the middle of the road without cover while the armed and intense-looking man was glaring at me. I started thinking, All right, we’ll work this out. He must be talking to the state police crisis people and maybe they can talk him down. We’ll just keep him from killing himself. I still sort of had a file in my head on that type of situation.
“7314 Rehoboth,” I said into the radio.
“Confirming that the subject is positively armed?”
“That is correct, 7314. Also be advised that the subject has been in contact with a state police negotiator, and the subject has indicated that he plans to force a deadly force response from the police.”
I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. SUICIDE-BY-COP—son of a bitch!
Now I understood why the Dewey officer appeared dazed. It was because she—like me—had no files on hand for this situation. She already had the information before I arrived and was processing it. And I guess because I was the one standing without cover in the middle of the road, I appeared calm and collected. Is this why she looked to me to take charge? All I know is that there were a few painfully long seconds where I had absolutely no idea what to do. My heart had started to race and I could feel a knot starting in my stomach. What to do? What to do?
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