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Lynnwood Officers Diffuse Tense Situation With Suicidal Individual

Opportunity for de-escalation led to successful outcome

 

Lynnwood Washington Police

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Lynnwood Police Department
19321 44th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lynnwood Officers Diffuse Tense Situation With Suicidal Individual
Opportunity for de-escalation led to successful outcome

LYNNWOOD, WA (November 1, 2018) - On the evening of October 24, Lynnwood Police patrol units were dispatched to the Embassy Suites parking lot for reports of a suicidal person with a gun. The individual, who is known to Lynnwood Police, displayed a handgun to hotel staff and appeared to be in crisis. First responding officers found the individual in a parked car with a handgun pointed towards their own chest.

As soon as the on-duty Sergeant arrived, a coordinated response plan was developed that would make the scene safe for bystanders in the area and create an environment that was conducive to de-escalation. An officer who was familiar with this individual began communicating and making efforts to engage meaningfully and work towards having the individual relinquish the gun.

After three hours of verbal engagement with the individual, it became clear to the response team that they were not able to meaningfully engage the individual who refused to disarm. The response team determined that the best option for a successful resolution was to deploy foam-baton projectiles.

The individual then opened the driver's door and began to step out of the car while continuing to hold the gun. Officers engaged the individual with foam baton rounds and after several seconds the individual dropped the gun, placing hands in the air, and stated they would no longer continue to fight. Officers were able to successfully detain the individual and transport to Swedish Edmonds hospital for evaluation. It was determined that the handgun was in fact loaded and there were additional rounds found in the car.

"Thankfully, the actions the individual chose to take once police arrived allowed the officers to engage in de-escalation," stated Police Chief Tom Davis."There were many moments during those three hours where the outcome could have been much different had the individual chose to take a different course of action. The officers were able to establish time, distance, and security and then demonstrated patience, compassion and professionalism."

Police Chief Tom Davis has directed that all Lynnwood Police Officers attend a 40-hour Crisis Intervention (CIT) Course and attend advanced in-service de-escalation training. The State of Washington requires officers to have 8-hours of CIT Training. Additionally, Chief Davis has directed that all patrol cars be outfitted with less lethal equipment such as rubber and foam projector launchers and ballistic shields.

Contact Name:
Deputy Chief Jim Nelson
LPDMedia@LynnwoodWa.Gov

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