Suicidal gunman taken into police custody
by James Phillips
Jun 18, 2013 | 5656 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A gunman, who reportedly hoped police would take his life, is facing several charges after an incident in Jasper Sunday night.

The suspect, whose name is being withheld pending formal charges, was described by Jasper Police officials as a 20-something, Hispanic male.

Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe said a report of shots fired in the area of Airport Road and Woodland Drive was called in at 8:30 Sunday night. Officers arrived in the area one minute later. Rowe said Sgt. Joseph Homan spotted a man holding a gun in the doorway of a home at 702 Airport Road at 8:38 p.m. Airport Road was shut down almost immediately and all available Jasper officers were called to the scene for assistance.

Rowe said the suspect surrendered his weapon and was taken into custody by Jasper officers at 8:44 p.m.

“Ten rounds were fired before our officers arrived, and no rounds were fired once Jasper police were on the scene,” Rowe said. “We are very fortunate this situation ended the way it did.”

Rowe said the subject communicated to officers after he was in custody that his plan was to be shot by the police.

“He has a history of having problems in the past and has been medicated for them,” Rowe said. “It was indicated to us that he was no longer taking his meds.”

The suspect was taken to Walker Baptist Medical Center for a psychological assessment, Rowe said. Charges are pending his release from the medical facility.

Jasper Fire and Rescue were called to the scene, and Airport Road was closed until 11 p.m.

Rowe commended several officers for their work during the incident.

“Sgt. Homan handled the situation as a supervisor as well as anyone could have possibly handled it,” she said. “Officer Will Wickwire showed a great deal of restraint and excellent decision making. Officers Laverne Hill, Barry Elam and Marcus Carroll also showed a great deal of bravery during this incident.

“If it were not for the outstanding work of our officers, this could have ended a lot differently,” Rowe continued. “I’m real proud of them.”